UK Railways May Join the Tube in Going Contactless in 2016

By Gary Cutlack on at

Parts of the UK's rail network could be joining the contactless credit card payment micro revolution during 2016, with plans to let all rail travellers pay for tickets online then use the same debit card to authorise the journey from then on said to be on the table.

This is all according to an exclusive in the Telegraph, which says overground rail users could soon be tapping in and out with their bank cards and the same technical aura of smugness as those currently doing so on London's Underground network.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group told the paper that: "...we are in the early stages of exploring how passengers could pay for and store tickets on their contactless credit or debit cards. This is part of our wider aim to improve the experience of rail passengers and move towards smarter types of ticket."

Although the plan isn't quite as simple as the a la carte tapping in and out operated by the capital. The Telegraph says the plan will let users buy tickets online, then use the same card they paid with to authorise the trip at ticket gates -- so it's more of an expansion on the idea of paying online and collecting your tickets at a station. But without collecting any tickets at a station.

The Department for Transport is said to be meeting with banks and rail companies to see how quickly it can all be assembled, with the hope being that some lines and franchises could be attempting to go completely ticketless before the end of 2016. [Telegraph]

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