London buses have stopped accepting cash fares in a move that Transport for London (TfL) says will save £24 million a year.
Now where did I put my contactless wristband?
This is heartening, worthy of emulation in other cities.
It will be appreciated if one can get granular about the GBP 24 Mn savings, which is quite large, even if spread over a year.
Another point to be noted is that this savings is in spite of the fact that cash payments comprised only 1% of (payments for) bus journeys made so far this year.
Heartening? Or a cynical ploy to squeeze extra free money out of commuters? If you're an Oyster user you most likely have a few quid on it at any one time, and possibly you've ticked the "auto top-up when balance reaches £5" option. There are 43 million
Oyster cards in circulation, just how may extra pounds are there on them that never get used? All they'll do is inflate the coffers at TfL.
When will I be able to use my debit card on the tube as well? I keep forgetting to keep the contactless cards in my wallet seperate (choc des cartes)!
I agree with Dirk though, that is a LOT of money in TfLs books .. maybe UK.GOV should make TfL re-deploy that money by further improving transport provision and offset the fact that I/public may have to walk and not take a bus if card is lost/broken.. of
if I happen to be 'unbanked' for some reason.
I know that this might sound stupid, but why don't the TfL have the minimum balance for a topup at zero or below zero? I am sure that there is no possible reason that you could not do this technically. Financially, is another story. Let me see, 43 million
times $5.00 = $215,000,000.00. Not everyone has the topup function set up. Not a bad method of earning interest hey! Maybe its time for the government to get involved and legislate to ensure a zero balance or no minimum balance, for all topups?
If the GBP 5 in the Oyster Card never expires, it's not such a bad thing - after all, the prepaid card business supposedly runs on a clear assumption of a certain level of breakage. While I'm no fan of a business refusing to accept the legal tender, is there
anything stopping people from unchecking the default auto topup option? A simpler solution would be to stipulate upon TfL that auto topup should be made opt-in (as against opt-out as at present).
It would be interesting to see what impact this might have on those banks with London based customers.
How many requests for card renewals with contactless payment capabilities are likely to arise over the next month or two.
I know my bank has not been proactive in getting a contactless capable card out to me in time to support this change.
As for using the debit card on the tube gates, this will have to wait as the existing technology doesn't support the international standard, and, apparently, the cost to TFL to upgrade is quite significant...
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