London has been selected as the home of a new team which will work to “accelerate” the take-up of contactless payments by bus and rail operators.
Created by card giant Visa, the new team will support its Visa Global Transit Solutions initiative which seeks to replicate Transport for London’s successful adoption of contactless payments around the world.
TfL’s adoption of contactless has seen it become one of Europe’s largest contactless retailers, with more than 1 billion journeys made since 2012 and passengers enjoying features such as automatic fare capping, while avoiding the need to manage and top-up a separate Oyster card.
Some of the technology underpinning TfL’s success is to be incorporated into a new system being built for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority by transport payments firm Cubic which has a licensing deal with TfL worth up to £15m.
Now Visa is looking to build on London’s success as it works to encourage more transport operators to adopt contactless technology.
“We want to make the transportation experience faster, easier and more secure whether someone is traveling by car, flying on holiday or taking public transportation to work,” said Michael Lemberger, head of products at Visa in Europe.
“Visa played an important role in partnering with TfL.
“We are applying the expertise which has led to more than one billion Visa contactless journeys on TfL to help mass transit operators around the world move away from cash and tickets to contactless payments on buses and trains.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL and the key architect of its contactless programme, said: “More than 40 percent of pay-as-you-go journeys are now made using contactless cards or mobile devices and we have already seen cards from more than 100 countries around the world using our system.
“To get to this point, a lot of things needed to change about how the payment industry worked, including the creation of new payment rules.
“Without our close partnership, we would not have seen the huge benefits to customers that contactless ticketing has already delivered in London.”