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Apr 22

Smartphone to be used by London Transport

London Transport is to replace the Oyster card with contactless payments via mobile. So the Smartphone to be used by London Transport.

Providers like EE and Vodafone have spoken to Transport for London about the ability to buy tickets using mobile phones to move towards contactless payment schemes. Many modern smartphones now include the same capabilities as an Oyster card, as well as the means to link the payments with various bank or operator apps.

The initial trial is expected to be a “pay as you go” scheme using apps owned by the mobile operators that can be preloaded with money. Operators could also consider payment for tickets on a weekly or monthly basis, according to a person familiar with the plans.

EE, for example, offers a means to load money and contactless pay on a phone through its “Cash on Tap” app, which can be adapted to make payments on London transport.

Vodafone is also expected to extend its “mobile wallet” contactless payment service this summer after launching it in other European countries. It could also be used to pay for the TfL scheme. EE and Vodafone declined to comment.

O2 offers an app that can let users check the timetables and book their tickets online from any mainland rail company.

“We are doing some testing to see how the devices perform on the system and welcome any new payment technologies that meet the relevant industry standards and enable sufficiently fast transactions speeds.”

Transport for London is slowly replacing the Oyster system with a more open approach to contactless payments for the underground and buses.

Oyster is one of the best contactless ticketing methods in the world but it is costly for Transport for London to run.

Transport for London is trying to extend payments to other means of contactless payment. Contactless debit, credit or charge cards can already be used on buses to pay for single journeys at the same rate as a single Oyster fare, with similar plans being developed for the underground.