TfL have announced that from 16 September contactless payments will go live across all transport services. Customers will be able to use contactless bank cards, or other payment methods including phones, payment tags and wearables to pay on the Tube, Overground, DLR, bus and limited National Rail services.
Contactless payments have been in place on the bus network since December 2012, but with the spread of the system to rest of the network, TfL has been working with the card companies to put new technologies in place.
Fares will automatically calculated to ensure that customers are always charged the lowest amount across the days and weeks they travel using the network, no matter how many zones they traverse. Customers will be able to track their spending online through their TfL accounts and only one payment per day will be sent to their bank or financial provider. They will be able to use their accounts on mobile and desktop with TfL's responsive browser-based sites to complete journeys where they may have forgotten to touch out, or obtain refunds on incomplete journeys. TfL will no longer charge maximum fares for journeys with no end point, but will instead estimate and autofill where customers ended their journeys -- allowing them to change the details if they are incorrect. All in all, there are 39 different payment scenarios the system is currently set up to understand. This will increase as eventually monthly and annual travel cards are incorporated into contactless too.
A successful pilot of 3,000 customers has already taken place, although some issues remain - customers will have to, as on buses, ensure that they don't accidentally tap with more than one card at the same time (known as 'card clash').
The announced roll-out date is a year behind the Mayor's stated aim from his transport manifesto.