Card Clash Email from Transport for London

Why London Underground’s ‘Card Clash’ Will Confuse Your Finances

In a delightful combination of user experience fails, Transport for London troubled my inbox this morning with an email alert about ‘card clash’.

A new term for me. Maybe some variation of curiosity gap involved Twitter cards? Nope. In a rather irritating case of technological progress and unintended consequences, card clash means your contactless bank card may now get charged for tube journeys instead of your Oystercard.

Their advice?

Keeping your Oyster cards and any contactless payment cards separate helps to avoid ‘card clash’.

Argh! So, for someone who is adept at losing things, I have to separate the cards and remember to pick up the right wallet when I tap the Oystercard reader. This should be a delightful recipe for chaos.

Of course, I know there’s no easy way round this. That’s not going to stop an avalanche of complaints for the tube’s 1bn annual users, most of whom won’t have read that email.

Oystercard Ring by Dhani Sutanto

Update: Phil Lang pointed out a brilliant solution: The Oyster Ring.

After all – why do Oystercards need to be cards at all?


Inquisitive. Hopeful. Jovial. Cantankerous. Digital marketer. Event organiser. Long-time fan of tech, collaboration and innovation. Exploring digital, social, business, technology, society, psychology & startups. Founder Chinwag, Digital Mission, Pitch NYC, ChinwagPsych. Former Exec Dir, Social Media Week London. More short stuff @toodlepip on Twitter.

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