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London's Oyster cards are getting an app for easier top-ups

Online top-ups are now ready for collection in 30 minutes and from any station.
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Contactless payments make it so easy to get around London that the trusty ol' Oyster card isn't as convenient as it once was. You can add funds or Travelcards online, for instance, but then have to wait 24 hours and tap in at a specific station to actually bring your card up to date. Transport for London (TfL) is making the Oyster card a little more 2017-friendly today, though, cutting that processing time down to 30 minutes and removing the need to visit a nominated stop. Tapping in at any train, Tube, tram or River Bus terminal will confirm the top-up, and by the end of autumn, buses will also be on that list.

A new TfL app for iOS and Android will be launching next month, too, putting pay-as-you-go and Travelcard top-ups just a few taps away, no browser required. The app will also let users check their remaining credit at a glance and generate low balance alerts when available funds are running out. Future features will include a simple way to apply for refunds and journey histories for all forms of contactless payment, with the latter due next spring.

Other digital improvements are on the agenda throughout this year and into the next, such as making it possible to purchase bus and tram season tickets online (and via the new app). Weekly capping of pay-as-you-go fares will also come to the Oyster card. This stops you paying more than you need to once you've completed a certain number of journeys during the week, but currently it only applies to contactless cards and smartphone payments.

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