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London buses to accept contactless NFC payment

Posting in Technology

The iconic London bus is being propelled into the 21st century with the induction of contactless NFC payments today.

The BBC reports that the Big Smoke's 8,500 buses will be accepting payments through near field communication (NFC) technology, so passengers can swipe a debit or credit card to pay, as well as use a charge card through a mobile NFC reader.

Currently, many Londoners use Oyster smartcards, introduced in 2003, to travel, and often receive an annoyed look if you choose to fiddle around with cash (believe me, every single time). Now, Transport for London (TFL) -- who is in charge of such projects -- are moving further ahead with quick and easy payment methods, following Stagecoach's lead, who installed NFC payment services in 2009.

Currently using an Oyster card? No problem -- readers have been upgraded to accept both types of payment. Smartphones installed with the technology to mimic a card are also expected to be compatible.

However, the news agency says that Oyster card users have been warned via email about swiping their wallets if they own more than one NFC card -- as this could result in both being rejected, or payment being taken from the wrong source.

TFL plan to introduce NFC payments for the London Underground networks in the future.

(via BBC)

Image credit: Flickr

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— By on December 12, 2012, 7:34 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure