The transport authority announced today (13 December) commuters can now pay for their bus travel using contactless credit, debit or charge cards as well as cash and Oyster cards.

It hopes the contactless capability will help make people’s journeys more convenient and cheaper around London – especially if they have run out of cash or have run out of Oyster credit. Those paying using their American Express, MasterCard or Visa Europe contactless cards will pay the cheaper Oyster fare rather than the cash charge.

TfL will promote the launch at the end of January – avoiding the cluttered festive period – with ads on bus shelters and inside buses. It will soon begin emailing registered TfL users to inform them of the update and directing them towards the contactless section on its website for more information.

By the end of 2013 the contactless payment scheme will also be available on London Underground, London Overground, DLR and trams – by which time it will also include daily and weekly price capping like the Oyster card.

TfL’s contactless card rollout will be welcome news to the wider contactless payment industry, which has struggled to implement mass consumer use of the technology through a lack of marketing, according to a study from ICM Research.