TfL has announced that tube users will be able to use their smartphones to pay for journeys by the end of the year, making our trusty blue travel cards obsolete. As many devices have the same ‘near field communication’ as Oyster cards, commuters will simply be able to swipe their phone to open barriers across the network.
The plans are still in their early stages, with phone companies and credit card firms currently developing apps, but it demonstrates the push TfL is making to modernise services and champion contactless payment methods across the city. The scheme was launched on London buses in December 2012 and TfL is now piloting it across the tube and rail network, launching to the general public later in the year. RIP Oyster.