London Transport Network Sees Huge Gains from Mobile

July 10, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It’s no secret that the British love mobile payments. We’ve seen this market increase steadily over the last few years, and a new report suggests that the Brits are taking mobile payments options just about any way these can be had. The latest word says that one in ten contactless payments made on public transit systems like buses and subway—or rather, “tube” operations—are paid for via a mobile payment option like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

Transport for London put out the word, noting that over a billion rides have been paid for with contactless card systems, dating back to the first acceptance of such payment measures back in 2012. That’s accounted for two billion pounds sterling—about $2.593 billion as of this writing—in spending since then, and it’s been on the rise ever since.

The latest word notes that contactless payments accounts for nearly every other payment—40 percent of all pay-as-you-go—and that’s up from just one in four such payments back in early 2016. The wide acceptance of contactless payment methods in London’s transport operations is even having an impact on the overall use of contactless payment.

Barclaycard notes that contactless accounts for about half of all in-store card payments under 30 pounds sterling. What’s more, mobile tap-and-go operations are on the rise too, with Barclaycard citing gains of 90 percent spent via its Android app just this year. Similar gains are reported from TfL.

While some might try to draw a link here between the spiraling use of mobile payments on mass transit systems and the growing use at retailers and the like, this might be more tangential than anything. We know that the mobile payment market is brisk; though there’s clear correlation between the mass transit and overall use hikes, suggesting causation would be a different matter.

Regardless of what came first here, the end result remains the same. Mobile payments are a big deal in London, from the shops to the tubes and most everywhere in between. It’s not likely to change any time soon, and if anything, will only get more pronounced. We’ll likely see a lot more out of the British mobile payments market the farther along we go.