A new e-money card will be available to Londoners next year, which can be used in shops across the city.
Called sQuidcard, it has been developed by consultancy Nucleus. It can be used to buy small items, such as newspapers and coffee, with a simple “tap and go” mechanism in shops, similar to the Oyster travel card system.
Nucleus has hired merchant bank Rothschilds to raise between &£10m and &£15m from investors to get the scheme running. It plans to launch the card early next year in London before rolling it out nationwide.
A spokesman for Nucleus claims it would prove to be quicker and safer than Chip & PIN transactions using debit or credit cards. The new cards are likely to have a limit of &£50 which users can top up over the internet or in a shop.
Last year Transport for London (TfL) looked at turning the Oyster card into a general payment card, but abandoned the idea.
Partners for the new sQuidcard are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.
SQuidcard managing director Adam Smith says he is open to a partnership with Oyster card: “It can be complementary from a brand and product perspective.”
A spokesman for TfL declined to comment on the possibility of a partnership between the two schemes.