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London buses now offer contactless NFC card payments

London buses will begin accepting NFC contactless payments from today, it has been announced.

Transport for London has announced that passengers using the city's 8,500 buses will now be able to buy tickets by swiping a credit, debit or charge card by an NFC (near field communication) reader. Smartphones containing NFC can also be used, although travellers are being warned to be careful swiping wallets if they own more than one NFC-enabled card.

"If you present two cards together, the reader will normally reject them both. But there is a small possibility of payment being taken from a card which you did not intend to use," said TfL in an email to card users.

The new implementation is a development on the current Oyster scheme that TfL introduced in 2003 as a way to speed up passage through tube gates and buses. Oyster cards use an earlier RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology which will stay in use alongside the new NFC system.

The Oyster card readers on buses have now been upgraded to be compatible with both types.

Despite Barclays introducing the first NFC contactless credit card back in 2007, the technology has been slow to take off in card payments and smartphones alike.

The Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 are among the major smartphones released this year which support NFC.

For more information about smart transport head over to Smarter Trends.

Image Credit: Flickr (eastleighbusman)