One quarter of London ‘pay as you go’ passengers travel using Contactless payments

29 January 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Over a quarter of London ‘pay as you go’ customers now travel using Contactless payments according to latest figures released by Transport for London (TfL).

Contactless payments

Figures released today by TfL reveal more passengers across London are using Contactless payment technology to travel around the Capital. Since its introduction, more than 300 million journeys have been made using credit or debit cards or mobile technology.

Contactless payments have been accepted on London Buses since December 2012, with the technology expanded to cover Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, and most National Rail services in London in September 2014. Along with providing customers with best value fare on TfL services, as well on the vast majority of National Rail services, the form of payment provides ‘Monday to Sunday’ capping which automatically limits the cost of travel over this period to the price of a weekly travelcard.

3.5 percent of all Contactless journeys are now made using mobile technology

Figures also reveal nearly 25,000 new cards are used on the network every day, with 27 percent of all pay as you go journeys on Tube and rail services now made using Contactless. Customers are now also using other methods of payment, such as mobile device ticketing technology. Around 3.5 percent of all contactless journeys are now made using mobile technology, with around an extra 7,000 devices now seen on average every week. This is predicted to further increase throughout 2016 as more devices come onto the market and other technologies such as watches and wristbands with Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities become more widespread.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It’s wonderful Londoners and visitors from around the world are embracing the use of contactless technology right across our network. Passengers clearly love using their bank cards and mobile phones to travel, and why not – it’s quick, easy and gets you the best fare. It’s another fine example of how we are innovating and investing to make getting around the Capital as easy as possible.”

“More than 300 million journeys have been made using contactless cards from over 80 countries”

Shashi Verma, Director of Customer Experience at TfL, added: “More than 300 million journeys have been made using contactless cards from over 80 countries and 27 per cent of pay as you go customers on the Tube and rail now use contactless payment because it is so quick and easy.

“We are committed to making paying for transport easier for everyone and are working to further expand the benefits to journeys to all London airports as well as other key locations around the commuter belt.”

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association commented: “One in ten card transactions in the UK are now contactless, and for many Londoners it has become the way they expect to pay for travel too. Building on the huge success in London, we’re now working with the transport industry to bring in contactless payments across the country and help make public transport more convenient for millions of passengers.”

Janet Cooke, Chief Executive, London TravelWatch, said: “For many passengers Contactless payment cards are the easiest and most convenient way to pay for travel as these figures confirm.  For some time, passengers in towns such as Epsom, Slough, and Sevenoaks have been calling for the benefits of Oyster and Contactless payments to be extended to them.  This should now be done without further delay.”

TfL says it will continue to make improvements to the Oyster and Contactless payment system to further provide the best service to customers and allow TfL to take further steps towards eliminating the use of paper tickets on the Tube. Plans are already underway to make improvements to the auto-refund system for Oyster and Contactless to better identify where people have accidentally failed to touch out of the network.

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