No longer need for Oyster Cards - Contactless Fare Payment for Underground and other public transport with Debit Card
Forget about queuing to buy ticket or top-up your oyster card. There will be no need for an oyster card from 16th September for London's underground and other public transports. Just use your debit card for contactless payment.
Progressive TfL (Transport for London) introduces contactless payment by debit card. That means there are no need of Oyster cards and weekly or monthly travel cards. Regular commuters do no longer have to prepay their travel cards. With the contactless card system regular commuters will not be charged more than with travel cards. The travel card prices will set the price caps - if the travellers reach a certain level, TfL will stop charging. However, if they travel less, they pay less. No more calculating which is the cheapest option.
TfL had to replace all readers and upgrade the communication system and setup a new administration office. The whole system is now fitted with Ethernet and all buses are connected with 3G.
Contactless Debit Cards
In order to make use of the new system, you will need debit card with the contactless sign.
Oyster Cards will still be offered and valid
The oyster cards will not be completely replaced by the contactless payment system and you will be still able to use it. However, in the future it might be one day completely replaced.
A team of about hundred people have been involved in the development of this system. However, there will be cost reduction in selling tickets and TfL is aiming to re-sell the system worldwide to other cities around the globe.
Payment by mobile phone
The next step will be payment by mobile phone. However, negotiations are still ongoing between mobile phone carriers and the card operators.