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Friday, October 24, 2008

Oyster card may be replaced by mobile payments

In August we learnt that
TfL will be terminating their £100m annual contract with Oyster. Thanks to Alex Gollner, I learnt that mobile phones and bank card payments are being considered as replacements for the Oyster card.

The Register reported that: "Will Judge, head of future ticketing at TfL, told the London Assembly's Budget and Performance Committee on 21 October that the body is looking at various technologies and providers to take over from Oyster in 2010....

Judge said TfL wants the new ticketing system to be contactless and fast, and suggested it could be delivered through another smartcard or on a phone or bankcard. He said it wanted to take advantage of good practice elsewhere.

Judge also told the committee that the replacement for the contract with TranSys is unlikely to take the same shape. It could be broken up into a number of segments, each let individually rather than under a large private finance initiative as in the existing arrangements
."

They're hedging their bets with this statement and covering a load of bases, so personally I'm not holding my breath or getting excited or worried about the prospect of paying my London Underground fares with a mobile phone. By 2010 anything could happen & the Japanese will have probably invented something amazing like paying for your subway fares by touching a pad or staring into a screen. Doubtless we'll be many years behind them.


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