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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are Contactless cards creating problems on the Tube?

Reddit user had spotted the following sign at a London Undeground station recently, implying that some contactless bank cards are being charged on Oystercard readers on the Tube.  As most people know, TfL recently rolled out a service where those with contactless cards could pay for bus fares.  From late 2013 you will be able to use cards to pay for Tube journeys too.

No one else on Reddit the specific issue above but someone had said their contactless Barclaycard messes up the gates on the Tube.  I was wondering if anyone else had experienced their contactless cards working on the Tube, or somehow confusing the barriers.  When the whole idea of contactless payments for travel was first planned back in 2006, there as already some worry expressed about confusion.  Head of credit cards at Moneysupermarket at the time said: "This type of innovation is very much welcomed in the cards market," said  "However, the convenience of having three payment types on the same card could potentially lead to customer confusion about which part of the card is being debited."

I'm sure that someone from TfL will be able to shed light on the above photo, or explain what the problem at this station was, however it there are warning signs on TfL's website about not keeping your Oyster card and contactless cards together.

"If you keep your contactless payment card and Oyster card together (for instance in a wallet) and touch them on the yellow card reader together, the reader will normally reject them both. This is because we can't be sure which card you want to use. If you have more than one contactless card (Oyster card, payment card or building pass), please choose the card that you intend to pay with, and touch it on its own on the yellow card reader. If you don't there is a small possibility that payment will be taken from a card that you did not intend using."

Bear in mind this is relating to buses and not the Tube.  Nonetheless the above sign is worrying and hopefully it's a one off case. Any thoughts appreciated, specially if you've noticed your own contactless cards causing havoc with the barriers on the Tube.

Related posts
Oystercard & Barclays tie the knot 
Oyster card may be replaced by mobile payments

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