TfL eyes global travel card harmonisation - report

TfL eyes global travel card harmonisation - report

Transport authorities in major global cities are considering harmonising their ticketing systems, enabling people to use contactless bank cards to pay for journeys wherever they are in the world, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Transport for London (TfL) is already planning to start accepting contactless debit and credit cards as an alternative to Oyster, although there are not yet plans to completely phase out the current system.

According to TV news show London Tonight, which has seen minutes from a TfL board meeting, the capital's buses will be equipped to accept bank cards from early 2012, with the Underground set to follow later that year.

A switch to bank cards, or mobile phones, has long been touted, with TfL floating the death of Oyster back in October 2008. Barclaycard launched a combined contactless Oyster travel and debit card, OnePulse, in 2007.

The move is designed to make travelling more convenient and save TfL money on the commission it currently has to pay Oyster operators every time one of the accounts is topped up.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph claims TfL is talking to counterparts in the US, Australia and Europe on harmonising systems, which would enable travellers from London to use their bank cards to travel on the Paris Metro or New York subway.

Smart travel card to ease global travel - Telegraph

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 October, 2010, 20:11Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

As I have posted before in "Transiting to open-loop contactless payments", the acceptance of open-loop contactless payment cards on mass transit could I believe significantly fuel the growth of contactless bank card payments outside transit too.

Alan Laird
Alan Laird - ADL Card Systems - London 11 October, 2010, 09:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Not before time - Oyster was a great product but contactless has moved on a lot since the early days in no small part encouraged by the success of Oyster.  The big question for the UK market is what will happen to ITSO as used by the bus operators and planned for the train operating companies.  Specialised back-office processes for transport are fine but the consumer front-end should use universal card payment products which today means EMV based.