London’s buses have gone cash-free - next stop, mobile payments

Outsourcing and BPO

by Michael Moore| 07 July 2014

Oyster or contactless payment cards are now the only way to pay for travel.

Travellers moving around London on public transport will no longer be able to use cash to pay for their bus journeys, following the implementation of new rules from governing body Transport for London (TfL).

Starting today, TfL bus drivers will no longer accept cash fares, meaning that all passengers boarding a bus in London will need to be in possession of a prepaid or concessionary ticket, Oyster card or contactless payment card.

TfL says that many customers will be unaffected by the change, as over 99% already pay for their journeys with these methods, but the change should see a significant increase in the number of journeys paid for by contactless payment cards, which can be used much like an existing Oyster card to pay upon boarding a bus.

Such payments are driving "a payment revolution", says Dave Hobday, managing director of payments company Worldpay UK.

Worldpay processed over 8.5m contactless payments in May alone, and Hobday believes that this number will only continue to rise as consumers become more aware of the capability, causing a "seismic shift" in shopper behaviour.

"Contactless kills queues and means businesses never lose a sale during peak times, which is why we helped over 70 large retailers in the UK move to contactless in 2013," he adds.

TfL has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure a smooth and trouble free transition for customers to a cash free bus service.
This includes Oyster 'One More Journey' which was introduced one month early following a successful trial.

This feature allows customers to make one more journey should they have insufficient pay as you go credit on their Oyster card.

Since its introduction in June, around 44,000 customers a day have benefited from this feature, ensuring they can get home or to the nearest Oyster Ticket Stop to top up.

"The way our customers pay for goods and services is evolving, so we need to ensure our ticketing evolves too," said Mike Weston, TfL's director of buses.

"Removing cash from our bus network not only offers customers a quicker and more efficient bus service but it enables us to make savings of £24m a year which will be re-invested to further improve London's transport network."

 

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