London Underground set for contactless bank card payments

London: Travelers on the London Underground train network will be able to use no-contact bank cards at the gates to pay for their journeys from September, the transport group said on Friday.

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The contact-less payment scheme will be launched on the Tube on September 16 following a successful trial of 3,000 customers.

“Offering the option of contact-less payments will make it easier and more convenient for customers to pay for their travel,” said Shashi Verma, Transport for London’s director of customer experience.

The move is likely to be welcomed by visitors to the British capital, who will be able to avoid queuing to obtain an Oyster card, the city’s electronic travel smart-card, and will instead have the option of creating a contact-less account before arrival.

A single daily charge will be sent to customers’ bank accounts, and the technology behind the move automatically calculates the best value fare for travelers based on their total travel that day.

Graham Peacop, managing director of the UK Cards Association, said: “This is a major step forward for contact-less cards.

“Our experience shows that once people see how fast, easy and secure it is to pay with a contact-less card for travel, they then make the switch from cash for other small payments too.”

The contact-less bank card payment system has been in place on London’s buses since December 2012, and has been used by around 825,000 customers for 17 million journeys since then.

London buses stopped accepting cash earlier this month.

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