London Transport Pioneers Contactless Payment System For 2012

London commuters will soon be able to use contactless debit and credit cards to pay for travelling on trams, buses and the tube, Transport for London has said.

The first upgrade will see London's fleet of 8,000 buses being updated with the new smart card reader software for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. The move will allow quick and easy access for the millions that are expected to attend the event.

Users of the technology simply need to pass their new debit or credit cards over a reader, in the same way as with the current oyster card system, in order to register a payment.

TfL will then upgrade London's trams, tube, Docklands Light Railway and the London Overground network by the end of 2012.

The TfL said that the upgrade will be in the form of software updates for the Oyster smart card system that will allow it to recognise contactless debit and credit cards issued by Visa, American Express and Master Card.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said in a statement, “London leads the way in so many different fields and we will be the first in the world to allow the millions using our tube, trams, buses and trains to benefit from the ease of using this technology.”