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Visa contactless tube journeys hit million a day milestone

14 January 2016  |  8103 views  |  0 tfl contactless

As the UK prepares to roll out contactless payments across its public transport networks, the technology's popularity has been underlined by figures which show that in a single day last month more than a million journeys on London's tube were paid for with the tap of a Visa card.

In September 2014 Transport for London began enabling people to pay for their tube, overground, DLR and tram journeys with a tap of their bank cards and the technology has proved popular, with contactless now represents 25% of all pay-as-you-go transactions.

In December alone, Visa saw a 166% annual increase in the total number of journeys by people who used their card to pay as they travelled, and a total spend for the year of £339 million - 7x growth in total spend on the year.

And the firm says that it expects to see usage grow, particularly with the growing popularity of wearables like bPay and the Apple Watch, as well as the uptake of mobile NFC payment services.

Shashi Verma, director, customer experience, TfL, says: "Contactless payments on TfL services has been a huge success. A quarter of our pay as you go customers use contactless payment already because it is so quick and easy and there have been more than 250 million journeys made using cards from over 80 countries."

In the coming years, public transport users in other parts of the UK will be able to pay for journeys via contactless. Earlier this week the UK Cards Association set out a framework to enable transport operators across the country to implement contactless payments on local pay-as-you-go journeys, including single trips, such as a bus journey, or combined travel on more than one type of transport.

And rail operators have committed funding for a joint project between the card and rail industry exploring how contactless cards and devices could be associated with long-distance train tickets or season tickets, so passengers no longer have to print out tickets.
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