Speaking to the London Assembly Transport Committee, Transport for London’s (UK) head of future ticketing Will Judge offered assurances that an open fare system would be safe from “invisible pick-pocketing.” Recognizing that some consumers would be concerned that personal information on their credit cards could be compromised, Judge said that the risks were low. “The set of information you can get from card itself is restricted and is not all of your personal data,” he said. “You cannot extract enough information from a card to spend someone else’s money.” TfL’s director of fares and ticketing Shashi Verma told the committee that a £15 limit on transactions will also reduce the potential for fraud. “It has been thought about and has been rigorously tested,” he said. TfL plans to introduce an open fare payment system on its buses next spring. Link to full story in The Guardian.
I think this is an amazing idea! I am excited to see how this all turns out. Would this only be available for people with UK cards, or will it work international accounts as well? I could see this being extremely convenient for tourists, but know that there may be issues with international banks.
My understanding is that it’s supposed to work with MasterCard, Visa, and Eurocard, but the cards have to be enabled with a contactless chip that lets people tap and go. A few U.S. systems are considering the same technology, including New York City and Washington Metro.