August 27, 2005

London's contactless transit card to be accepted at local merchants

oyster_card.gifOyster, Transport for London's popular transit fare payment card, is about ready for a new benefit for its more than two million users. They'll soon be able to use their contactless card to make small purchasescoffee, newspapers, milkat participating retailers. TfL in July released what it calls its shortlist of seven companies or consortia bidding on what could be a very lucrative contract.

"We are currently in discussion with potential partners with whom we hope to develop e-purse on Oyster," said TfL's Amanda Brooks, media relations. "These discussions include how the e-purse would integrate with Oyster and we will announce plans after a partner has been decided."

Adding e-purse functionality had always been one of the goals for the Oyster card, a program that has been in existence for about two and a half years. "The plan to extend Oyster from travel to small money purchases demonstrates TfL's commitment to provide greater convenience for passengers and generate additional revenue for the transport network," said Ms. Brooks.

"Oyster already has the largest customer base of all smart cards in the UK," she added, "with more than 2.5 million users. Also, more than three million journeys are made every day using Oyster. Essentially, this takes away one of the biggest hurdles of any contactless smart card payment system as customers already have Oyster in their pockets. It's not a new piece of plastic they have to acquire."

Read full article at Contactless News

Posted by keefner at August 27, 2005 03:11 PM