Using contactless payment cards to pay for travel on busesSkip to navigation
If you have a credit, debit or charge card that has been issued in the UK and displays the contactless payment symbol (pictured on the right), you should be able to use it on buses to pay for single journeys. Find out if your card is contactless.
You just need to touch your card flat on the yellow card reader as you board a bus - exactly the same as when you use an Oyster card.
Not all contactless payment cards carry this symbol. Your card issuer should have told you if your card can be used for contactless transactions when it was issued to you.
If you touch your contactless payment card on a yellow card reader when it's in the same wallet or purse as another contactless card (like an Oyster card or building pass), the reader might detect more than one card. When this happens the card reader doesn't know which card to read so rejects them. This is known as 'card clash'.
If it happens on a bus (where contactless payment cards are already accepted), your fare could be charged to a card that you didn't intend to pay with.
Our Conditions of Carriage apply when using contactless payment cards to pay for bus journeys.
Why use contactless payment cards?
- It's cheaper than paying cash.
- It's secure: Your card is protected by your card issuer against fraudulent use in just the same way as when using your contactless payment card at any other retailer
- It's quick and easy, because there's no need to enter a PIN number
An alternative way to pay
It also provides an alternative to Oyster, particularly if:
- You don't have enough pay as you go credit on your Oyster card and you have no time to top it up before boarding the bus
- You've forgotten your Oyster card
Although similar to Oyster, there are some important differences:
- Contactless payment cards are only valid on buses and can only be used to pay for single journeys
- At the moment caps will not be apply
- You can't add Travelcard or Bus Tram Pass season tickets to a contactless payment card.
- Contactless payment cards are not accepted on the heritage buses which run some journeys on parts of routes 9 and 15
- Each time you use a contactless payment card, you pay for a single journey, therefore, there is no transfer discount between Bus Feeder routes T31, T32, T33, 130 and 314 and trams
Using contactless payment cards
All you need to do is touch your card flat on the yellow card reader as you board the bus. Remember that if you have more than one contactless card, including payment cards, building passes or Oyster cards in your wallet, they may not be able to be read together. You need to choose which card you want to use to pay for your fare and you should take it out of your wallet to touch it on the reader.
When you touch your contactless card on the yellow card reader, you should get a green light, which means it has been accepted for travel. The passenger display on the driver's ticket machine will show the message 'Payment card £1.45 charged'. If you get a red light, your card has been rejected and you will need to use another payment method.
When you touch your contactless payment card on the yellow card reader, you are giving authorisation for the cost of a single bus journey to be taken from your card (account). You will be charged £1.45 for each bus journey you make with a contactless payment card.
You won't get a receipt (or paper bus ticket) when you use a contactless payment card; exactly the same as when you use an Oyster card. Each bus journey made using your contactless card will be shown as a separate transaction on your bank or card statement.
Like Oyster, you can only pay for one person per journey with a contactless payment card; if you are travelling in a group, each person will have to use a separate contactless payment card or other method of payment.
If you have used a contactless payment card to pay for your journey, you must show it to an inspector when asked.
If your contactless payment card was rejected, you will be given an advice slip by the bus driver for further advice.
Barclaycard One Pulse cards
Although your Barclaycard OnePulse has contactless technology built in, it will only be recognised as an Oyster card and cannot be used for contactless payments on London's buses.