"Card Clash" Between Oyster and Credit Cards Messes With 2,000 Tube Passengers a Day

By Gerald Lynch on at

"Avoid card clash" may be a warning as regularly heard as "mind the gap" when venturing onto London's tube system once Transport for London introduces contactless credit card payments for journeys next month. It's found that as many as 2,000 passengers a day are experiencing "card clash", when the readers at station barriers scan a contactless-enabled bank card instead of an Oyster card transport pass. According to the TfL report:

We are currently seeing about 2,000 instances per day of customers presenting a CPC (contactless payment card) in a way that, had the system been live, they would have been charged on it. As the system is not live yet we have to infer that their presentation of a CPC is unintentional.

In other words, come September 16th (when contactless bank cards become an accepted payment method at tube barriers) such mix ups could see money taken from your bank account, rather than Oyster card credit. TfL will "provide automatic refunds" for those who get caught out by the new system, but it's likely that many travellers won't notice it's happened at all until their next bank statements come in. Going forward, Londoners would do well to keep bank cards and Oyster cards in separate wallets. [Standard]