Passengers could soon pay to ride London's Tube from their phones

Transport for London is reportedly ready to let passengers pay for their travel with a NFC-enabled smartphone, following discussions with a number of mobile operators. It is believed that EE and Vodafone are among those who have held talks with TfL, which is adopting a more open approach to contactless payments on tubes, buses and trains in order to ease the cost of running the Oyster card system and reduce the number of cash fares being paid on the London’s transport network.

Despite suggestions that NFC payments were too slow, London’s Tube and bus networks appear ready once again for some contactless disruption. According to the Financial Times, both EE and Vodafone have engaged in talks with Transport for London (TfL) to provide mobile wallets that will let travellers pay for their ticket using only their smartphone. It’s part of an effort to expand beyond the successful but costly Oyster card and follows TfL’s recent upgrades enabling Tube barriers to accept contactless cards. Those changes opened support for NFC payments, which simply need to be activated. hould trials be successful, commuters may soon be able preload their Tube fare from a platform, ticket office or escalator in one of a hundred WiFi-connected London Underground stations.

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