Commuters using the London tube network can now tap their contactless bank cards on the ticket barriers to pay for their journeys, further displacing cash on the capital's transit system.
Fares are cheaper than cash, with users being charged adult pay as you go fares and benefiting from daily and Monday to Sunday fare capping. Customers without bank cards will continue to benefit from cheaper fares through Transport for London's Oyster card.
"This is not the end of Oyster, and it's not the end of cash, but it is a significant dent in the market for cash," Shashi Verma, director of customer experience at TfL tells Finextra.
The move follows the abolition of cash on London's buses, and covers all tube, overground, DLR, tram and National Rail services that accept Oyster.
Verma's vision is for the system to eventually cover the entire UK transport network, so that "across the UK...you won't ever need to buy a ticket again and you can travel everywhere you want just with your contactless card".
For Huw Davies, head of market development at MasterCard, the shift to contactless has future-proofed the capital's transit system for up-and-coming innovations in payments. "You can already use your mobile phones to make your payments and tap and go through the tube turnstiles, and in the future it will open up many other connected devices as well, whether that's smart wristbands or smart watches."
Sandra Alzetta, executive director, Visa Europe, adds: "We've seen an incredible response to the launch of contactless payments on London Buses with nearly 19 million Visa contactless journeys made since it launched in 2012. Today's launch by TfL will be another major boost to contactless usage leading to the three-fold increase we expect in the next year."
To coincide with the with the rollout, Barclaycard is inviting Londoners to sign up for 10,000 free bPay contactless payments bands. The firm says that its wearable device will let commuters pay for their journeys with a wave of their wrists and help avoid "card clash".