More than 700,000 London bus users have used contactless cards to buy a ticket to ride since the launch last December, and numbers are on the rise, says Barclaycard.

Barclaycard provided the technology to enable Transport for London’s (TfL) bus fleet to accept contactless payments across the capital. According to the latest figures from Barclaycard, an average of 11,000 contactless bus fares are being made every day.

Nicholas Clements, Barclaycard managing director for UK Consumer Cards says: "In the past year we’ve seen a dramatic uplift in the adoption of contactless technology, as both consumers and retailers recognise it is an easy and convenient way to pay. Contactless bus fares also offer the exact cost-equivalent alternative to a single bus journey on an Oyster card and Barclaycard offers 100% guarantee transactions against fraud."

With around 31 million contactless credit, debit and charge cards tucked firmly into UK wallets, it is expected that up to 25 million contactless bus journeys will be made across the capital by the end of 2013. According to Barclaycard this increase will be facilitated by TfL’s rapid expansion plan. Travellers will be able to ‘tap and pay’ on the London Underground, DLR, London Overground and trams before the end of the year.

However, the travel industry is not alone in discovering contactless payments. Almost 130,000 merchant outlets have signed up across the UK, including Pret A Manger, Waitrose, WH Smith, Wembley Arena and M6 Toll.

Overall, the number of contactless transactions in the UK is four times higher than last year, with an increase from 710,000 in December 2011 to 3.8m in December 2012, according to Barclaycard.

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