Tuesday, 21 July 2015

How London's transport crunch forged a contactless revolution

From The Telegraph –

“Apple Pay is only the latest in a series of payment innovations that TfL has helped foster as it crams more people onto the Underground.

In the late 1950s, Transport for London began to look for a technology that would allow it to check passengers’ tickets on the Underground without putting inspectors at every barrier. Manual inspection was time-consuming and labour-intensive, leading to bottlenecks at the gates during busy periods and forcing TfL to employ an inspector at every gate.

So in 1961, almost a decade before American Express introduced the world’s first magnetic stripe credit card, TfL began experimenting with the idea. In the ensuing years, automatic gates entered service, and by the mid-1980s they were almost ubiquitous.

Five decades after the first magnetic stripe tickets entered service, Apple Pay, a new payment service allowing iPhone and Apple Watch users to pay using near-field-communication technology, reached the UK.”

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