UK Tram Riders Take to Tapping with NFC phones to Pay for Fares, According to Early Results

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Transport for Greater Manchester, which last month launched open-loop payments on its large Metrolink tram network, said Thursday that contactless credit and debit cards and NFC wallets accounted for a combined 170,000 rides during the first four weeks of the service.

That number of contactless rides  works out to around 5% of total rides that the 93-stop, 100-kilometer Metrolink network sees during an average four-week period. That is not bad for the first month of contactless service, though is well below contactless usage in London and also on UK buses outside of the capital, where contactless payments launched much earlier. But the percentage of contactless payments on the Metrolink tram made with devices tied to NFC wallets is already slightly above the rate seen in London, NFC Times has learned. 

Tapping with NFC Wallets
A spokesman for Transport for Greater Manchester told NFC Times that of the 170,000 rides paid for with contactless between July 15 and Aug. 11, 82.2% were from contactless EMV cards, 17.4% from NFC smartphones and 0.4% from NFC smartwatches. The NFC phones and watches are linked to wallets from the major Pays services, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and such wearables only services as Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. 

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