Last week I highlighted the shared interests of the banks and Transport for London in ensuring that nothing as boring as being punished for fare-dodging should dent the take-up of contactless debit and credit cards.
Not everyone was convinced that TfL and the card issuers are really as close as I suggested.
Some of you thought I was over-egging it for dramatic or comedic effect.
But thanks to a sharp-eyed reader, I bring you full-colour proof that the relationship is far beyond a mere customer/supplier set-up and that TfL is on a mission to help banks and card issuers drive take-up of this technology.
If your stomach can stand the sickening, Pyongyang levels of mutual backslapping, here’s TfL’s director of customer experience Shashi Verma and Visa UK MD Marc O’brien in a video from Visa’s YouTube page:
There’s nothing wrong with offering as many good value options as possible and I’m a appreciative user of Wave & Pay on the bus when my Oyster is lacking in funds.
But when TfL is prepared to put up senior public officials to shill for outside commercial interests, we’re entitled to question their objectivity and ask if they’re dispassionate enough to really get the best value for Londoners.
And when they’re rewarding holders of their preferred payment card by not fining and prosecuting them for fare-dodging, we can answer those questions with a resounding “No”.