Last week gave Londoners a chance to pay for their rail-borne transport with something other than an Oyster Card, they could use a contactless credit/debit card or (if they are EE customers using Android) they could use a smartphone. You might think, what does this mean for the Oyster Card? Will it eventually be discontinued? You don’t have anything to fear because TFL has made it clear that the Oyster Card isn’t going anywhere.
TfL’s Shashi Verma told Techradar: ‘We expect contactless bank cards to be used alongside Oyster because there will always be people who do not have a contactless credit or debit cards or people who simply don’t want to use it.’ Plus there are bound to be people who don’t have access to a contactless card so readily, like tourists or children.
That’s also a good thing for regular punters since using an Oyster Card means you get a small discount on the cost of your travel, whereas a contactless card will always be charged full price. In fact, it’s a wonder why anyone wouldn’t want to use an Oyster Card in the first place.
Plus it’s all the same reader system anyway, so there’e really no need to do away with the Oyster Card until something better comes along, and it’s unlikely that’ll be anytime soon.
UPDATE: Using an Oyster card actually doesn’t get you a small discount, it’s the same price as using a contactless card. The only time it would make a difference is if you have a 16-25 railcard synced up to your Oyster card, then the discount for being a youngster wouldn’t be applied to your contactless card.