Friday, 4 July 2008

Oyster readers to accept credit cards

Barclaycard's Onepulse combined Oyster/credit card also has a third function, "cashless", that allows you to pay for items by touching the card to readers found in a small number of shops. Over the next couple of years, it's hoped contactless payment will become a standard feature of all bank cards.

According to a recent presentation given by TfL, they're looking at whether this would allow bank cards to be used as Oyster cards. The idea is that you'd be able to touch any concactless-enabled bank card to the Oyster reader on a ticket gate or bus, and the journey would be charged directly to your bank account. It's hoped this would remove some of the administrative overhead of Oyster PAYG, and make it really easy for visitors to use the London transport system.

All 22,000 Oyster readers would have to be replaced to make this possible, but according to the presentation this is due around 2010 anyway. For one thing, they also need to add support for ITSO in the near future, which is a UK-wide Oyster-style transport card.

Another technology the presentation covers is NFC, which allows mobile phones to be used as Oyster cards and could mean being able to top up credit and check journey histories from the phone itself.


Anonymous said...

The Japanese have been using mobile phones with NFC since summer 2006, to the extent that some 30% of mobile phone users now pay for their travel on public transport this way. The French have been toying with it in much smaller numbers since November 2007.

It'll be interesting to see which way TfL/AToC jump - NFC payment on bank card or mobile phone. Adopting both seems costly, but each has a different customer base.

Anonymous said...

Could someone explain the graph on page 8 of the presentation to someone mathematically challenged please?

Mr Thant (Editor) said...

I think the vertical axis is number of transactions. Bus and tube singles have been largely replaced by a much smaller number of Oyster top ups, but interestingly bus pass and Travelcard sales have remained flat.

Anonymous said...

I keep both my Barclays "waveandpay" and my "oyster" card in the same wallet.

When I try to hold the wallet to the reader it fails, and TFL staff say that it's not possible to have both cards in the same wallet and have the readers work.

Has anyone else experienced this, and doesn't this seem odd that it can't be fixed? Both Barclays and TFL say that it's not anything they can fix, but surely this will become a big issue over time?