Contactless payment or as its better known “pay-and-wave” was introduced on London’s buses in December last year, and could one day replace the Oyster card for London’s transport. Other payment technologies that could enhance efficiencies would be to pay for the congestion via the internet, or introducing an access fob to rent bikes from London’s popular cycle-hire scheme.
The popularity of the Oyster card shows just how much this payment type simplifies people’s daily commute in London. However, there are concerns that outside of London, local authorities are not recognising the potential benefits of improving payment technologies on transport networks.
The Guardian organised a roundtable event which included Centro and the Institution of Mechanical Engingeers. The event took place on 5 December, and the panel was broadly in agreement that intelligent transport technologies, including improved payment methods, have a significant role to play in the reduction of congestion and encourage more people to use public transport.
SmartDebit provides an end-to-end Direct Debit payments processing service, from consultancy to implementation, account management, processing and contingency. A spokesperson from the firm said, “It is critical that the UK’s transport networks are brought into line with the level of innovation and simplicity that the public increasingly expect these days. There has already been movement in simplifying payment technology on Britain’s roads, with the Isle of Wight Council introducing a new payment scheme for motorists to pay for their parking permit via Direct Debit. Another example is the new payment scheme for the Dartford Crossing toll, which will be made cashless by 2014 with consumers paying by phone, text or online. Implementing new payment technology on public transport will not only encourage more people to travel on public transport but allow the UK’s public transport to become paper free, producing significant savings for the Government.”
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