Ian Brown let me know that London's Oyster program is looking to expand from a mass transit ticketing application to a fully blown small payments system. This follows in the footsteps of the Hong Kong Octopus program, and has been predicted by FCers for years.
Transport for London (TfL) announced the shortlist of potential partners for the development of e-money today:
This marks an important step forward for TfL's aspiration to extend the use of its successful ticketing and payment smart card, Oyster, to low value payments for goods and services at newsagents, parking machines, fast food restaurants, supermarkets and other locations where the importance of transaction speed and the inconvenience of cash are recognised.
Jay Walder, Managing Director of Finance and Planning at Transport for London said: "The use of contactless smart cards for low value payments is growing in popularity around the globe."
"Such schemes are now well established in Hong Kong and Japan and significant trials are taking place in the United States."
If anyone wants to predict who gets to do the job, recall the Frank Trotter observation that the prime candidates for digital money issues are telcos, couriers and mass transits. Frank now runs an Internet bank, and pointedly does not issue digital money.Posted by iang at July 21, 2005 09:19 AM | TrackBack