Cubic Corporation (AMEX:CUB), one of the principal members of the TranSys consortium, the developers of Transport for London's Oyster smart card transit fare collection system, said the consortium has struck an exclusive deal with Barclays Bank in London for development of a new card that will host both Oyster and Barclaycard Visa on one piece of plastic.
The first cards to include Oyster will be tested in London in early 2007.
Since the introduction in 2003, Oyster smart cards have become a huge success with more than 6 million in use on the transport network. This new initiative will make future travel with Oyster even more convenient.
The new card will see Oyster included for the first time on a dual interface card. The contact interface will manage Barclaycard payments while the contactless interface will have two separate and distinct functions: Oyster for transit, and a low value, contactless payment capability.
This merging of the transit application, with its unique standards and sets of fare rules, onto one piece of plastic along with contactless payment for low value transactions, offers the transit authorities an optimum way to reduce costs, gain revenue and increase passenger satisfaction.
"Oyster is one of the most recognizable brands in public transportation around the world," said Steve Shewmaker, managing director of Cubic Transportation System, "The deal with Barclays, which unlocks the value of the brand, is unique in the transportation world and will benefit not only TranSys but TfL and Barclays as well."
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: "Oyster has been a great success making journeys across London, cheaper, easier and quicker, but we want to make Oyster even more convenient. This new deal will mean that from next year people can buy low cost items and take advantage of Oyster fares on the same card, reducing the need to carry cash."
The new card will serve three separate functions:
- As a Standard chip and PIN Visa credit card
- As an Oyster card and
- The new 'wave and pay' Visa card allowing contactless payment for transactions of up to GBP 10.
'Wave and pay' means faster, more convenient payments as there is no need for a PIN or signature. The Oyster-Barclays card will reduce the need to carry cash and is well suited for retail purchase for items such as fast food, newsagents, parking facilities and vending machines.