Transport for London Prepares to Accept Contactless EMV Cards on Tube; Warms to Mobile NFC

Transport for London has launched a key user trial as it gears up to accept fares on the London Underground and its other modes of transport from contactless EMV credit and debit cards, and for the first time is beginning to sound positive tones about possibly accepting payments from NFC phones.

The transit authority, which introduced open-loop card payment of fares to more than 8,000 buses in December of 2012, might be late again with its expansion to the next phase, which involves launching a sophisticated backend system to calculate fares from cards. It had planned to be ready by this summer after delaying the phase-two launch from the end of last year. But it now says it will be ready only later this year. 

The agency hopes to one day replace its large closed-loop Oyster scheme, which, while popular, is expensive to operate. Contactless readers that Transport for London is rolling out also will continue to accept Oyster. 

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