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 more 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 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. 

Meanwhile, director of customer experience, Shashi Verma said that “in principle,” the upgrade of Transport for London readers to accept contactless bank cards, supporting Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass and American Express ExpressPay credit and debit cards would also mean they could accept these applications on mobile phones. 

While he didn't say that the authority would promote such payments, he had been more skeptical in the past that mobile NFC would be fast enough for payments at busy gates for the Underground, or Tube. The authority indicated there are ongoing tests of mobile-NFC payments, but did not elaborate.

Words:

1,700 

Graphics:

Chart: transaction times in tests of EMV cards that could be used for fare collection, Dec. 2012, Jan. 2014
Chart: Open-loop fare-collection projects, UK, USA 

Among Topics Covered:

  • Expansion of fare collection from contactless credit and debit EMV cards and, possibly, NFC applets on London Underground, light rail and national rail in and around the city.
  • Attitude of Transport for London officials to possibility of using NFC devices to pay fares appears to be warming, though further tests still needed
  • Tests showing relatively high transaction times for contactless EMV cards that could be used to pay fares on London buses
  • Consultant suggests host-card emulation is an option to increase transaction speeds for fare collection conducted on NFC phones
  • Second phase of open-loop fare collection project, including implementation of sophisticated back-end payment system
  • Prospects for launching second phase of open-loop project on time and for accepting payment of fares from NFC phones
  • Acceptance of prepaid cards and applications on NFC phones remains questionable

Sources quoted:

Shashi Verma, director of customer experience, Transport for London
Peter Lewis, external initiatives manager, Transport for London
John Elliott, head of public sector practice, Consult Hyperion 

Among companies and organizations mentioned:

Transport for London
Cubic Transportation Systems
Consult Hyperion
Visa
MasterCard Worldwide 

This is premium content from NFC Times. 

Read Full Article 

© NFC Times and Forthwrite Media. NFC Times content is for individual use and cannot be copied or distributed without the express permission of the publisher.

HEADLINE NEWS

Prompted by Pandemic Fears, Last of Australia’s Big Four Banks Ends Apple Pay Holdout

May 12 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Citing the increased demand for cashless payments because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Westpac today became the last of Australia’s big four banks to adopt Apple Pay, ending a four-year holdout that had lasted months, even years longer than its major rivals.

Insight: MaaS Backers Believe New Mobility Platforms Could Help Transit Providers Win Back Their Customers’ Trust

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – With Covid-19 lockdowns causing mass transit ridership in many cities to virtually fall off a cliff–with such cities as London, New York and San Francisco reporting drops of more than 90%–transport providers worry that some riders may not come back, even after the pandemic ends.

In-Depth: Government Regulation of Mobility-as-a-Service Seen as Necessary to Encourage Widespread Adoption

Apr 16 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Government legislation will likely be needed for widespread adoption of Mobility-as-a-Service, or MaaS, to occur, according to UK-based Juniper Research, which believes that the regulations will be necessary to force MaaS providers, including transit service providers, to work together, as well as to persuade users to get out of their cars to cut carbon emissions.

Apple Pay Expands Support for Interoperable Closed-Loop Transit Cards in China, Though Not First NFC Pays Wallet to Do So

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple on Wednesday expanded support for closed-loop transit payments across China, incorporating China’s T-Union interoperable transit cards in its Apple Pay service.

Insight: Virus Adds Urgency to Increasing Contactless Limits but Won’t Necessarily Drive Growth in Acceptance

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While the Covid-19 virus outbreak is building awareness for contactless and NFC payments and is accelerating the increase in already low contactless transaction limits in Europe, it remains to be seen how much it will convince more merchants to accept contactless in the U.S.

Exclusive: After 10 Months, Sales of Public Transit Tickets in Uber App Still Make Up Small Share of Mobile Ticketing in Denver

Mar 24 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Since last May, when ride-hailing service Uber officially began enabling customers to book and pay for public transit tickets in Denver directly in the Uber app, use of the service remains relatively low, accounting for less than 3% of all mobile tickets purchased by customers of Denver public transit agency RTD, NFC Times has learned.

Former Garmin Pay Technology Providers Sue Device Maker Claiming Unpaid Millions, Though Offer Scant Proof of Claims

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  The founders of former payments wearables provisioning company Fit Pay, which was acquired last September for $3.3 million by smartwatch and fitness band maker Garmin, have sued the device maker and two other parties, claiming they are owed millions in missed earn-out payments.

Helsinki to Roll Out Multimodal Contactless EMV Fare Payments, with Plans for Daily and Weekly Fare Capping

Mar 12 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority plans to accept contactless EMV payments on its multimodal system, including its buses, metro, trams and ferries. The rollout, expected to be completed in 2023, will also support daily and weekly fare capping.  

Transport for London’s Lucrative Sponsorship Deal with Google Shows Value of ‘Point of Sale’ Real Estate at Fare Gates

NFC TIMES Exclusive insight – Transport for London’s recent deal with Google to put the Google Pay Logo on more than 5,600 contactless gate readers across the large London Underground network is not the first time that the London transit authority has rented out its prime payments real estate to sponsors. Nor is it the only transit agency that has profited from sponsorship deals tied to its contactless EMV transit payments services. 

Amazon Launches Largest Checkout-Free Store; Clerks and POS Terminal Vendors Need Not Worry…Yet

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Ecommerce giant Amazon expanded its no-checkout concept to its first “full-sized” supermarket Tuesday, in its headquarters city of Seattle, enabling shoppers to scan an app upon entering, pull products off of shelves and “just walk out,” with hundreds of cameras and numerous sensors having recorded everywhere the shoppers went in the store and everything they put into their shopping carts. A card on file in the app is charged as the customers leave.

Czech Banks See Growing Use of NFC Wallets with Smartphones and Wearables for Contactless Payments

Feb 18 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Banks in the Czech Republic say they are seeing significant and growing use of NFC-enabled smartphones and wearables, ranging from 6% to nearly 25% of all contactless payments–three banks told NFC Times–although a large majority of consumers continue to tap their contactless cards, not NFC devices, for in-store payments.

Brussels Transit Operator Sees Need for Global Interoperability of Fare Payments; Compares Benefits to Mobile Roaming

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The head of information systems for a major European transit operator says he believes public transit agencies should support interoperable fare payments globally, like mobile network operators offer roaming when their customers travel abroad.