TfL celebrates a decade of contactless payment

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2,061 used TfL’s contactless payment on the first day; numbers now reach 1.7 million per day. TfL
Transport for London (TfL) is marking ten years since it introduced contactless payment using a bank card on London’s buses, which evolved from TfL’s Oyster card system. On its first day, TfL said that only 2,061 customers made 2,586 bus journeys using contactless bank cards, although at the time relatively few of the cards were in general circulation. Since then, the popularity of contactless has risen exponentially; a year after launching, TfL said it had seen more than 6.5 million journeys, averaging around 33,000 bus journeys a day, being made using a contactless payment card and by December 2017 around 900,000 bus journeys per day were made using contactless.

With post-pandemic ridership at around 80-85% of pre-pandemic levels, around 1.7 million of the 5 million daily journeys in London are made using pay as you go with contactless. Around 70 per cent of all pay as you go journeys on buses are made using contactless payment cards or mobile devices.

Andrew Anderson, Head of Customer Payments at TfL, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of contactless payment on buses. The introduction of contactless was an important moment for TfL and it is incredible how fast the last ten years have flown by. From humble beginnings, it has transformed the way our customers travel and is now the most popular way to pay as they travel in London. It signified a real step forward in how we have made our customers’ journeys easier and more convenient than ever before, positioning TfL globally as an innovator and inspiring other transport networks to follow in our footsteps.”