Plan for bank card Tube tickets

London travellers and commuters could be able to use their bank cards as tickets on the Underground under a scheme proposed by TranSys, the consortium behind the new ticketing system for the capital’s public transport.

TranSys is in discussions with five UK banks and credit card companies, including American Express and Visa, about combining their cards with the new TranSys smartcard system, LT Prestige, which is expected to launch in August 2002.

TranSys marketing director Victoria Pender says: “There are certain security requirements and technical difficulties to overcome but all things are possible and this is one of the ideas under discussion.”

TranSys has also outsourced its marketing department to advertising agency Publicis, which has brought together a five-strong team headed by project director Mark Shaoul. The contract will run for six years.

As an interim measure, tickets are likely to incorporate an electronic purse or stored value system where cash from the commuter’s bank account is loaded onto a card. This reduces queues when travellers do not have the correct change.

Transys is a consortium made up of engineering and transport consultants WS Atkins, hardware manufacturer Cubic, software maker ICL and electronic data system manufacturer EDS.

Transys is hoping that the smartcard system will spread to other transport networks and is in discussions with train-operating companies.

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