Contactless payment’s popularity continues to grow


  • Updated23 July 2018
  • News

More than half of all pay as you go trips made on London’s Tube and rail services are now made with contactless payment. On buses and trams, the use of contactless is also increasing rapidly – with around 45 per cent of all pay as you go journeys now being made using contactless. The convenient payment method, which launched on buses in London in December 2012 and across Tube and rail services in London in September 2014, is now being used to make around 17 million journeys a week across London.

Since its launch, more than 1.7 billion contactless journeys have been made across the capital, showing how Londoners and visitors have taken to using contactless payments as part of their daily life. The number of journeys made in London using contactless has risen from around 25 per cent just two years ago. London has now seen contactless cards from more than 120 countries across the world on its system. In the last year, cards from Grenada, Dominican Republic and Pakistan were seen on our network for the first time. Contactless journeys made using mobile devices continue to increase, with around one in eight contactless journeys in London now being made using a mobile phone or smart device.

London’s airports where pay as you go is accepted continue to see a growing proportion of contactless journeys made from both UK and overseas customers. More than 35 per cent of pay as you go journeys from Heathrow airport, more than 40 per cent of pay as you go journeys from London City Airport and more than 55 per cent of pay as you go journeys from Gatwick airport towards London are now made using contactless.


TfL’s contactless ticketing system automatically calculates the best value fare based on the customer’s specific journey history and then charges them at the end of the day – ensuring customers always pay the best fare in the easiest and most convenient way. This means that customers could save money compared to buying a one day Travelcard, helping them to travel around London more affordably. Customers using contactless also benefit from weekly capping, which will be expanded to Oyster card users later this year, as well as the Hopper fare, which allows bus and tram customers to make unlimited journeys within an hour for the price of one.


The success of contactless in London is leading more cities to introduce the technology as a convenient method of paying for travel. In 2016 TfL signed a deal worth up to £15m with Cubic Transportation Systems, allowing them to adapt the capital’s contactless ticketing system worldwide. Since then, New York, Sydney, Miami and Boston have all announced they plan to introduce contactless payments in the coming years.

For more information, please contact Mr Steve Newsome