Beta intro
Mayor of London

What is a contactless payment card?

Contactless payment symbol

Most contactless payments are made with cards. However, mobile phone payments, key fobs, stickers and other methods of contactless payment are becoming more common.

Some of these other methods of contactless payment will be accepted on our services.

If you've got a contactless payment card but haven't used it yet, you might need to make a chip and PIN payment elsewhere before using it for contactless payments (including for travel).

Will my UK contactless card be accepted?

If your card has been issued in the UK and displays the contactless payment symbol (as shown), you should already be able to use it to travel on London bus services. Later in 2014, contactless payment cards will also be accepted on Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

The majority of UK issued contactless payment cards will be accepted on our services. We will provide details of any cards that may not be accepted when we extend contactless payment acceptance to our rail and tram services.

Some UK card issuers do not currently offer contactless payment cards; if your card does not display the contactless symbol, you cannot use it to travel on our services

If you're still not sure if your card is contactless, check with your card issuer. To get more information about contactless payment cards, go to the UK Cards Association website.

Contactless cards issued outside the UK

Most contactless payment cards can be used to buy tickets or top up an Oyster Card at touchscreen ticket machines at Tube, DLR and London Overground stations, and at ticket offices, even if they can't be used for contactless travel.

If your card was issued outside the UK, please see the table below to check which cards will be accepted for contactless travel on TfL and most National Rail services in London.

American Express logo

American Express (AMEX)

All American Express contactless payment cards issued outside the UK will be accepted.

Mastercard logo
Maestro logo

MasterCard

Nearly all MasterCard and Maestro contactless payment cards issued outside the UK will be accepted.  The majority of cards that won't be accepted are issued in the USA and Canada. There are also a few other cards that may not be accepted.  If you experience this, please contact your card issuer.



Vpay logo

VISA

Some Visa and V PAY contactless payment cards from countries other than the UK will not be accepted for contactless travel at launch. Visa expects all its contactless payment cards to be accepted on our services in the near future.

If you travel in London regularly, we suggest you contact your issuer and ask for a new contactless payment card (newer cards have the latest technology and should be accepted).

You should also be aware that overseas transaction fees or charges may apply for travel made with a card issued outside the UK, please check with your card issuer. Please check back regularly for updates on card acceptance.

Other methods of contactless payment

Our system is capable of accepting suitable mobile payment applications, payment stickers and tags. The following should be accepted on our services

  • Mobile phones with a American Express, Maestro, MasterCard or Visa contactless payment application
  • Tags (stickers that can turn mobile phones into a way to make contactless payments)
  • Wristbands

At the moment the following methods of contactless payment should be accepted on our services:

  • PayTags (Barclaycard)
  • EE Cash on Tap
  • Vodafone mobile applications

You should check whether your method of contactless payment will be accepted on our services before attempting to travel:

  • with your service provider for mobile payments
  • with your card issuer if you have a tag, key fob or other method  associated with a bank, credit or charge account

You should also be aware that to get the full range of customer support services available from TfL (including registering your card with us), you need to know your card number, expiry date, and the security code*  

  • If you don't know the card number or the expiry date, we can't provide you with any support
  • If you know the card number and expiry date but not the security code, we may only be able to offer you support by phone  

If you use your mobile phone or other method of contactless payments and you cannot provide us with either a card number or expiry date, we strongly recommend that you don't use it to travel on our services. You may wish to consider purchasing an Oyster Card or ticket instead, as this will allow you to access TfL customer services with any queries about your travel.

* How to find your security code

  • American Express cardholders - This is the four digit number printed on the front of your card above the long card number
  • MasterCard & Visa cardholders - This is the last three digits printed on the signature panel on the back of your card