The TfL is in the midst of promoting its new contactless payment option for London buses – those of you with the contactless pay option on your Debit or Credit cards can now use it to pay for a bus journey if you don’t have your oyster or are out of change. This seems a pretty handy feature. Who knows, it really might help you out if its past 12, your oyster didn’t have any credit on it and you’re not carrying any cash because you figured you’d just pay for everything using your card – that’s not a hypothetical by the way, it actually happened to me – thank god for a friendly fellow passenger who helped me out.
It’s really easy and painless to use too – you just press your card against the reader, as you would an oyster, and the payment is made directly from your account. There’s no need to enter your pin either so no delays annoying passengers behind you. An added bonus – its cheaper to use contactless pay then just buying a ticket – you’ll be charged £1.40 instead of £2.40, so it’s the same as using an oyster.
A few things to remember though – contactless pay is only for single journeys and the daily travel cap won’t be applicable. Additionally, if you have an oyster in your wallet/purse next to your Debit or Credit card, it’s not going to work, so be aware of that. Finally, remember so far this only works for buses, not the Tube, so don’t get stuck trying to go through and wonder why it isn’t working.
It’s fairly easy to find out if you have the feature – Most cards will have the following symbol displayed on them if they support contactless pay. But this isn’t the case with all banks so if you don’t have the symbol on your card, check with your bank to be sure.
You can of course use contactless pay for other transactions. Many Bars, Grocery Stores and other outlets support the feature – but not all. And be aware that there is a £20 limit on each transaction.
For more information check out the TfL site: Contactless Pay