Last year, London abolished cash on the city’s buses. You can now only get around if you possess either an Oyster Card—a contactless card that is used across the system—or a contactless credit or debit card. (Cash is still accepted on the Underground.)
London has been rolling out the infrastructure for Oyster Cards for at least a decade, and Londoners are well used to tapping to get around. For the past few years, shops have also accepted contactless payments, so the habit of paying for things without having to punch in a PIN has also become ingrained.
So Apple’s announcement today (June 8) at its annual developers conference that Londoners will soon be able to get around the city using Apple Pay—the company’s NFC-based contactless payment system embedded into new version of the iPhone—is not entirely unexpected, but still very welcome news. It will mean less wondering if your Oyster has enough credit, and less fishing around for your card in your wallet. It also means your iPhone—long useless on London’s deep underground lines—finally has a purpose on the Tube.