The Worldwide Appeal of London’s Contactless Tube Payment System

The contactless payment system which has revolutionised London’s transport network is to be rolled out in cities the world over.

A £15 million deal struck between Transport for London (TfL) and San Diego transportation firm Cubic will see the American outfit adapt the contactless ticketing system and licence it worldwide. The London Mayor’s office has declared that the lucrative contract will aid TfL in safeguarding against a rise in fares for the next four years.

It is not the first time the two organisations have come together. In 2003 they jointly developed the technology behind Oyster. Since then Cubic have been instrumental in advancing the system to support contactless payments from not only debit cards but also Apple and Android Pay.

The transport networks of Brisbane, Chicago, Sydney and Vancouver already benefit from the ticketing technology delivered by Cubic but the deal with TfL will allow them to integrate the London Underground and buses’ unique system into these and other transport systems across the globe.

Since the technology was rolled out to cover tube and rail in 2014 it has racked up use from customers from almost a hundred different countries with a staggering one in ten contactless transactions in the UK completed on TfL’s network. On the buses TfL report that 12 million different credit and debit cards have been flashed in front of the technology facilitating half a billion individual journeys since Christmas 2012.

Whilst going global with the technology Cubic will remain responsible for TfL’s ticketing and fare collection on 8,500 buses, nearly 2,000 Underground and Overground turnstiles and 1,600 ticket machines across the network.