These days it's rare to find a coffee shop or bar that doesn't accept contactless payments in London. If you think about it, when was the last time you even had to punch your pin number into the terminal for a small purchase? I personally have forgotten my pin number more times than I would like to admit because of exactly this.
It is no surprise then that when it comes to travel, we’ve embraced that little touch of convenience to brighten up what can sometimes be quite a monotonous task. As a trailblazer of contactless payments, Transport for London is now seeing that over half of these taps in and out are being made by commuters’ debit cards and the speedy up-take comes as no surprise.
London takes pride in its diversity, and with such a huge influx of tourists on a daily basis, it makes sense for us to take the complexity of traveling abroad off the shoulders of our visitors. As a result, cards from over 120 different countries have been tapped on the barriers.
Getting around on transport abroad has to be one of my number one fears about going on holiday. Have I bought the right ticket? Will I get fined if I haven’t? The ease of entering and leaving a tube station with no extra paper or cards than you landed with is a huge weight off for tourists. So, it is not surprising that countries all over the world such as New York, Sydney and Miami to name a few, are looking to adopt a similar payment method on their localised transport systems.
As the innovation of payments continues to progress at this rate, apple pay could creep up on contactless cards, or maybe we’ll just be tapping in and out with the micro-chips in our hands?
Whatever is next, it has never been more true to say that the world is quite literally our ‘oyster’.
In just four years, people have adapted to the technology to such an extent that they are using contactless cards or mobile devices to make 17 million journeys a week. Now, half of all pay as you go journeys made on London’s tube and rail services are using contactless payments.