NFC Mobile Payment Technology Comes to London Buses

London-buses-NFC-mobile-payment-rfid-blogThe use of NFC technology for making mobile payments have just received a notable boost as London announced that the city’s 8,500 buses would now be accepting payments through NFC, which means passengers can swipe a debit or credit card to pay, as well as use a charge card through a mobile NFC reader.

Stagecoach began installing the readers for NFC mobile transaction back in 2009. Transport for London (TFL) is also using the Oyster smartcard program, which uses another form of technology called RFID.

The buses that already have the Oyster card reader have been upgraded to accept NFC mobile payments as of December 12th. This will allow the vehicles to receive payments in both the old and the new methods. NFC-enabled Smartphones are also expected to be compatible.

Users are cautioned not to simply use their wallet against the NFC mobile reader if they have more than one enabled card. This could cause them to both be simultaneously rejected. Oyster card users received an email that warned them “If you present two cards together, the reader will normally reject them both.” This is a security precaution against double billing the passenger.

TFL has explained that it intends to use the NFC mobile technology on the busses first, but that it also plans to bring the payment method to the London Underground networks at some time in the future.

The hope is that this development on the London public transportation system will help to build on the awareness and adoption of NFC mobile contactless payment methods, so that more companies and other systems will use it as well. This technology should help to speed up the process of paying for fare.