London's Oyster card is not going to die, says TfL exec

There will always be those who need it

Transport for London's director of customer experience has insisted that the introduction of contactless payment does not spell the end for the Oyster card on London's transport system.

Oyster cards have become a part of everyday life for hundreds of thousands of commuters since their arrival, revolutionising the transport system in Britain's capital city.

And Shashi Verma, director of customer experience for TfL, has told TechRadar that, although Oyster cards may not be as common a sight going forward, they will remain an important part of London's transport.

"It's not the end for Oyster at all," he told us. "We expect contactless bank cards to be used alongside Oyster because there will always be people who do not have a contactless credit or debit cards or people who simply don't want to use it.

"In that first category is, of course, children who are going to need to travel but won't necessarily have a payment card.

"So I see Oyster as providing a service for our customers and while it continues to do that I can't see anything changing."

London s next gen transport payments system in action

London's next-gen transport payments system in action

Verma says TfL has been hard at work on bringing a new convenient payment method to London's transport system for some considerable time, after picking which technologies would be at the heart of customers' lives.

"Contactless is a culmination of a piece of work we've been doing for eight years, he added. "We started work on this before anyone in the world was even issuing contactless cards to their customers.

"Back in 2005/2006 we selected contactless bankcards and NFC as the technologies we wanted to see and that started the project."

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Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.