TfL’s Service Revolution

Published 2 Min Read

The BIO Agency was delighted to welcome Mike Tuckett as a panel member at our event in London last month.  Now in an article for Engage Customer he explains how TfL moved from single tickets to season tickets to Oyster cards and contactless payment. 

He sets the scene by talking about the problems of old-fashioned ticketing: “Tickets require you to waste your time buying one each time you travel, and in the case of buses often wasting the time of many other people while the bus waits for you to pay.  Tickets require you to understand enough about the fares structure to know which one to buy, even though this will no doubt be intricate and unique to the mode of transport you propose to use, and to the city you are travelling in.  Just when you thought you had it sorted, you then find your ticket doesn’t allow you to complete your journey as it’s only valid on the train….” 

On a typical day, we see up to 30,000 contactless payment cards used for the first time

Oyster solved some of these pain points, reducing the time spent buying tickets and lessening the need to be fully versed in fare charges.  However, he notes, it’s still problematic for occasional users, who need to keep it topped up and return it to get the balance back.  Contactless payments solve these additional problems, though as he mentions there are still problems, for instance with mobile payments if your phone runs out of battery or with trying to mix and match phone and card payments.  

The response to the contactless proposition has been incredible. 1 in 3 Oyster pay as you go customers have already switched to contactless in under two years of operation. Mike Tuckett, Head of Transformation Delivery, TfL

He notes how well-received the new forms of ticketing and payment have been, whilst underlining the transformation required to get to that point: "The response to the contactless proposition has been incredible.  On a typical day, we see up to 30,000 contactless payment cards used for the first time, and 1 in 3 Oyster pay as you go customers have already switched to contactless in under two years of operation.

Using a contactless payment card to travel is beautifully simple, but it’s easy to underestimate the work that was necessary to achieve that.  A brand new transaction model had to be negotiated with the payments industry to permit fast enough payments, and a number of unique customer experience issues had to be solved."

Mike finishes off by saying “We are proud of what we have achieved by putting the customer first, and remembering that ‘every journey matters’.”

See more on our event The Service Revolution and the accompanying white paper

BIO’s Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Crook talks about digital transformation opportunities in the rail industry in an article for Future Rail.

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