Transport for London hopes to have a cross-border contactless transit and payment card in play by 2012 that would support access to transportation services domestically and overseas, according to the American Banker.
The agency is already working with several transport operators in the U.S., Europe and Australia to “develop common standards for the technology,” says a TfL spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Transport for London is in the process of upgrading its ticketing systems for buses and the London Tube network, that will allow them to accept network-branded contactless credit and debit cards, the spokesperson said. Financial institutions would issue the actual cards. In fact, TfL is already in talks with several card companies, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Some experts, however, do not believe the 2012 goal is possible. “The challenge is the interoperability of the different transit systems involved,” Tony Craddock, the chief executive of Global Prepaid Exchange, said recently in a newsletter. “Different from near field communication-based mobile payments, which has strict standards, contactless transit fare collection lacks a similar international standards body.”
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