Shashi Verma is Director of Customer Experience at Transport for London (TfL). He is responsible for the operation of TfL’s revenue collection system including contactless payments, the Oyster card – the largest smartcard based ticketing system in the world; advising the Mayor of London on fares and ticketing policy; and, for running TfL’s customer service operations.
We have been on a journey to bring more convenience for commuters and visitors when they travel on our network in London. Contactless payments were launched on London’s buses in December 2012 and have been a resounding success, and have been used by around 800,000 customers for 17 million journeys as of July 2014.
With contactless also arriving on our Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services that accept Oyster from September 2014, we will continue to support this quick, easy and secure method of payment. It will also help highlight the capital’s position as a world leader in transport ticketing, technology and customer service.
We want traveling in London to be as easy and convenient for our customers as possible and contactless is one of the steps we have taken to make that happen. Cash and the Oyster Card will still be around, but we hope that in years to come, other cities in the UK will follow suit and adopt contactless payments so that commuters and visitors will never need to queue for a ticket again. That is the sort of vision we are aiming towards and why we have spent so much time with MasterCard and the other schemes to make contactless payments available to commuters and visitors in London.