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

London's Oyster card is not going to die, says TfL exec
Not the end for the humble oyster card?

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."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.