Transport for London (TfL) revealed that NFC contactless payments have accounted for 1 million transactions on the city’s bus lines.
A release from TfL’s website estimates that as many as 10,000 people are using the contactless debit, credit or charge cards each day to pay their bus fares. Support for contactless payment cards giving riders an alternative to the Oyster card.
Also a contactless solution, the Oyster Card enables riders to load funds as they see fit, but for riders already possessing contactless bank cards the Oyster Card may not be necessary.
Enabling its customers to use their own contactless payment cards on buses removes inconvenience associated with topping up an Oyster card or digging in a wallet or purse for cash. Moreover, the use of personal contactless payment cards alleviates the over-charging of the reloadable Oyster Card.
Since its launch in December of 2012, the number of contactless payments on buses has been steadily rising each week. At its inception, the system reported 2,061 people making roughly 2,586 rides paid for using their contactless payment card. That number has since jumped to 10,000 people taking as many as 16,000 rides each day.
In addition to increased adoption, TfL estimates that nearly 1,000 new contactless payment cards are touched to readers on London’s 8,500 buses each day. This means that it’s not the same people using the solution repeatedly, proving that the solution is catching on.
TfL and London riders are not the only stakeholders in the use of contactless payments on public transit. Major credit providers like MasterCard, Visa and American Express are also delighted at the progress being made ion London.
In addition to using branded cards to streamline the daily commute, the major credit providers are now penetrating transactions that they were previously unable to.
Sandra Alzetta, Senior VP of Visa Europe reports that Visa has seen significant growth in contactless card use across the UK. She estimates that £33 million was spent via Visa contactless cards in the February alone, while the number of contactless transactions has jumped 25% in the last quarter reaching 4.5 million every month.
It is this increased adoption by the London public that has TfL planning for deployment of contactless payments on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and tram systems within the year.
At present, there is no daily price capping for bus users opting for contactless payment, but by the time rollout reaches the entire transport network, daily and weekly price capping will be introduced.