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Are you contactless yet? You should be. You could travel as much as you like without ever needing to top up your Oyster; and it can save you money too.

The number of commuters making contactless payments for tube travel has rocketed as they realise just how convenient it is.

The new payment method can allow you to benefit from capped fares without needing to stop to top up your Oyster card – Phew; just think of the stress that can be saved on those late mornings.

Contactless payments are now making up nearly 8 per cent of all pay as you go journeys.

Since Transport for London (TfL) launched the new payment method on September 16, more than 12 million public transport journeys have been made using contactless payment cards and devices.

The option is available for travel throughout London on the tube, buses, trams, the DLR, the overground, as well as most National Rail services in London.

Shashi Verma, TfL's director of customer experience, said: “Using contactless payments to travel can save customers time and money; they don't need to stop to top-up an Oyster card or buy a ticket and can benefit from daily and Monday to Sunday capping.” 

Under the new fares for 2015, announced by the Mayor earlier this week, customers using contactless or Oyster on pay as you go will benefit from the all-day cap for Zones 1-2 being cut by £2.00 from £8.40 to £6.40; and for Zones 1-6 by over £4.00 from £15.80 to £11.70.

The potential savings will be considerable. When a 3 days a week customer travels between Zones 1-5 in 2015 they will pay a maximum of £10.90 a day, rather than the current maximum of £15.80, saving £4.90 a day, or £14.70 a week.  Over a year (for example, 45 weeks) the savings could be up to £600.

Using contactless payments for travel is easy. Customers with a UK issued contactless payment card (debit, credit, charge or pre-paid cards) simply have to touch their card on the reader. There’s no need to sign up for an online account with TfL, but there are many benefits if customers choose to, including being able to see 12 months of journey and payment history.

Travellers are being reminded to only touch one card on the reader to avoid card clash.

Now’s as good a time as any to test the new system out. I think I’ll head off for a bar crawl around London…


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