Contactless Card Payments on the Tube Set for 2014

Oyster cardOyster cards could become a thing of the past if a pilot for contactless card payments on London’s transport system is successful.

The two-month test begins in December, with 5,000 travelers on the Tube, DLR and Overground able to tap in and out using a contactless bank card. The system has been in place on London’s buses since December last year so is likely to be fully implemented in 2014. The change will also save £80m per year, according to an interview with TfL in the Evening Standard.

Passengers will be charged pay-as-you-go rates and it is not clear whether regular users will be able to buy Travelcards when the system goes live. Tfl was unable to confirm whether contactless card payments would be followed by contactless mobile payments.

TfL has committed to a host of mobile-first initiatives, including promising wifi for all underground stations as well as equipping ticket staff with iPads. The changes to ticket halls, with all offices closing by 2015, would cost 950 jobs.