Looks like Transport for London is steaming ahead at full power with those NFC trials, as 5,000 contactless-payment-wielding customers are already participating in a pilot programme, with the full thing set to roll out later this year.
The idea is to extend the current NFC/Oyster hybrid system that's already in place on the capital's buses, which allows people to pay for a journey using either a contactless payment card or a good 'ole Oyster -- just touch either to the yellow reader, and Bob's your £1.35-worse-off uncle.
In theory, this should also mean you can use an appropriately configured mobile phone to pay for journeys, since both smartphones and contactless credit cards use the near-field contact (NFC) system. There's no Oyster app (yet), but when the contactless system opens up to everyone later this year, everybody with a Visa or Mastercard payment app on their phone should be able to use that to pay. Just get ready for some dirty rush-hour looks when you spend two minutes blocking a barrier because you couldn't get your phone to work.
Image credit: London Tube from Shutterstock