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TfL: NFC contactless payments will not be ready before Olympic Games

Transport for London said in 2010 that it planned to have the systems in place ahead of summer 2012

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that it will not have completed a full roll-out of its near field communication (NFC) contactless payment system ahead of the London Olympic Games this summer.

It was revealed in October 2010 that TfL was planning to roll-out NFC, which allows users to benefit from contactless payments using their credit or debit card, across its transport network before an influx of visitors to London for London 2012 this summer.

However, a TfL spokesperson has confirmed that due to "complexities with the technology" and on-going developments with the card payments industry, a full roll-out will not be possible until the end of 2013.

Shashi Verma, TfL's director of customer experience, said: "We are leading the world in pioneering this exciting new technology that will make paying for journeys quicker, easier and more convenient for passengers on London's transport network. We will only roll it out once we are confident it is 100 percent robust.

"To this end it has always been our intention to introduce contactless card payment in stages, and from next month we will begin implementing and testing the new technology on a small number of London's buses."

Following the trial beginning next month, TfL will implement the technology in phases, firstly across its 8,500 strong bus network, which will be followed by a wider roll-out to London Underground, London Overground and the DLR.

It was also recently revealed that TfL missed a deadline to award a £62.7 million outsourcing contract to replace an "outdated" in-house IT operation that supports its Taxi and Private Hire Directorate, which was finally awarded to NSL Limited.

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