As Londoners begin paying for bus journeys using their contactless bank cards this week, MasterCard claims that by ditching their Oyster cards commuters could save a day's worth of queuing every year.
You know things are bad when the networks start issuing press statements.
MasterCard and Visa are not lying - contactless transit payments are convenient and do save time and money.
IF done right...
On the one hand, I agree with Shashi's logic.
On the other hand, I don't think abolishing (single-handedly in the world) the concept of a "ticket" is the best way forward, especially when it comes to transit.
It's a concept which consumers are familiar with and like to have, for many reasons (airline, railway, cinema,
but if you look at the TfL website,
they also mention that "Daily price caps will not be applied".
Anyone going into Zone 1 from Zone 5 and back again could lose out on this 'solution'
I tend to benefit from this on every trip, in that I end up with my combined train (eg to East Croydon) and bus thereafter come for free.
With this scheme I'd end up paying an extra £5 a day to get back home again - so much for saving money!
Yes, as mentioned in the second paragraph, this is only for single fares at the moment but TfL says daily (and weekly) price capping should be added by the end of next year.
Let's also not forget that visitors to London whether for business or pleasure will benefit hugely from not having to queue to buy or top up their oyster cards in order to use the bus service (and eventually the tube, which is the end-game in this).
This also reduces the pressure on TfL to issue yet more cards, a card issuing business they are keen to get out of.
This may be useful for those who don't top up online, or who don't have a weekly, monthly or annual Oyster. However, at 17 seconds for a typical contactless payment, vs 300ms for Oyster, it could still cause some queueing
It TfL's case, contactless card transaction time is sub-500ms.
© Finextra Research 2013