Contactless payment comes to London's buses

Contactless payment comes to London's buses
Bank cards at the ready, folks

Mastercard has agreed a deal with Transport for London to stop you wasting money on travel.

From today commuters can pay for their bus travel using a PayPass bank card, which will cost considerably less than paying for the same trip with cash.

Buses across the capital are already equipped with the contactless readers for Oyster Card payments, but this move means travellers won't have to have a topped up travelcard prior to boarding the bus.

Given it's going to be an eye-watering £2.40 to pay by cash for any journey in 2013, compared to the £1.40 if using an Oyster PAYG card, the fact PayPass bank cards will mirror the lower charges will be a godsend to those who travel the bus infrequently but like the idea of paying a pound less.

Invisible transactions

The balance is taken straight from their bank account instead of needing to queue in a newsagent to top up an Oyster card first.

And there's also the extra bonus of not being stared at angrily by the bus driver when you try to pay for a jaunt to the shops with a £20. They don't like that, trust us.

Similar schemes are planned nationwide, and the likelihood is that the technology, which is already present in phones, will be added to the roster of bus payment mechanisms in the near future – we're chasing Mastercard for an answer on this at the moment.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.