London buses to begin accepting contactless bank cards

From Thursday the option of using contactless bank cards to pay for some bus journeys will be open to Londoners (view press release). TfL have confirmed plans to upgrade all Oyster card readers across London to work at the touch of a bank-issued debit or credit card.

With the move originally set to be implemented during the Olympics, the timeline was eventually scrapped. Shashi Verma, TfL director of customer experience explained: “We will only roll it out once we are confident it is 100% robust.”

The switch to contactless payment represents a plan to reduce commissions and processing costs for TfL as well as improving commuter experience. The need to keep – and top up –an Oyster card will be alleviated. However, the move has received some criticism from the London Assembly which has raised questions about the security and cost-saving potential of a new system. 

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