12 February 2016

TfL and mobile operators to test NFC payments

22 April 2014  |  6512 views  |  1 London bus

Transport for London is reportedly in negotiations with mobile operators ahead of a pilot which will see commuters pay for journeys through their NFC-enabled handsets.

According to the Financial Times, talks have been held with telcos such as EE and Vodafone about testing a system that would require travellers to tap their phones, rather than Oyster cards.

Trial participants would use operator-owned apps that are pre-loaded with money for the pay as you go system. Weekly or monthly tickets could also be introduced.

TfL is already upgrading its readers so that customers can pay for journeys using their contactless bank cards, meaning that the infrastructure is in place for mobile payments.

Shashi Verma, director of customer experience at TfL told the FT: "We are doing some testing to see how the devices perform on the system and welcome any new payment technologies that meet the relevant industry standards and enable sufficiently fast transactions speeds."

The issue of speed has long been seen as a barrier to mobile payments at TfL. In 2012 Verma warned that the read-speed of NFC-enabled mobile devices is too slow for practical use on the capital's transit network.

TfL ran successful tests of mobile access using a Nokia handset as far back as 2007, but Verma said that industry changes since then to switch the secure element from the phone to the SIM has slowed the read speed down to above its 500 millisecond cut-off point.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 23 April, 2014, 10:32

Is there a Plan B for when your battery dies?  Also, you'd need your bank card for other stuff anyway, so what does this buy you, exactly?  I'd love to leave my wallet at home, but until battteries last a week, and every merchant uses this app, I can't see how I could...?

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

17 March, 2014
17 December, 2013
13 December, 2012
01 June, 2012
18 November, 2011
22 October, 2008

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
UK sets out open banking API frameworkUK sets out open banking API framework
14906 views comments | 100 tweets | 89 linkedin
Deutsche Bank calls for co-operation with fintech firms on B2B servicesDeutsche Bank calls for co-operation with...
8086 views comments | 28 tweets | 30 linkedin
How to accelerate your fintech startupHow to accelerate your fintech startup
7679 views comments | 33 tweets | 9 linkedin
Is Paym a failure?Is Paym a failure?
6503 views 16 comments | 22 tweets | 16 linkedin
Visa issues API to offer consumer control over card transactionsVisa issues API to offer consumer control...
6004 views comments | 17 tweets | 28 linkedin

Featured job

Paris (France) or Brussels (Belgium)

Find your next job