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The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticket used on public transport in Greater London in the United Kingdom. A standard Oyster card is a blue credit-card-sized stored-value contactless smartcard that can hold single tickets, period tickets and travel permits, which must be added to the card does subway accept bitcoin travel.

The card was first issued to the public on 30 June 2003, with a limited range of features and there continues to be a phased introduction of further functions. London were made using the card. Since 2014, the use of Oyster cards has been supplemented by contactless credit and debit cards as part of TfL’s “Future Ticketing Programme”. TfL was the first public transport provider in the world to accept payment by contactless bank cards, and the widespread adoption of contactless in London has been credited to this. In August 2008, TfL decided to exercise a break option in the contract to terminate it in 2010, five years early. This followed a number of technical failures. TfL stated that the contractual break was to reduce costs, not connected to the system failures.

Two other names were considered and “Oyster” was chosen as a fresh approach that was not directly linked to transport, ticketing or London. Other proposed names were “Pulse” and “Gem”. A damaged Oyster card, revealing the microchip in the lower right corner and the aerial running around the perimeter of the card. IEC 14443 types A and B. Oyster readers can also read other types of cards including Cubic Transportation Systems’ Go cards. MIFARE Classic chips, on which the original Oyster card was based, are hard-wired logic smartcards, meaning that they have limited computing power designed for a specific task.

The MIFARE DESFire chips used on the new Oyster card are CPUs with much more sophisticated security features and more complex computation power. IEC 14443 type A, provided by Oyster readers. Oyster uses a distributed settlement framework. All transactions are settled between the card and reader alone. Readers transmit the transactions to the back office in batches but there is no need for this to be done in real time. The back office acts mainly as a record of transactions that have been completed between cards and readers.

This provides a high degree of resilience. In 2008, a fashion caught on for removing the RFID chip from Oyster cards and attaching it to wrist watches and bracelets. This allowed commuters to pass through the gates by “swiping” their hand without the need to take out a proper card. The Oyster system is based on a closed, proprietary architecture from Cubic Transportation Systems.

The card readers were developed entirely by Cubic, whereas development of the back office systems was started by Fujitsu and completed by Cubic. The system has the capability to interface with equipment or services provided by other suppliers. Oyster cards can be registered or protected for loss or theft. Registration enables the customer to buy any product for the card and to have an after-sales service, and it protects against theft or loss. Oyster cards obtained at stations or shops cannot be fully registered online. However, cards can be protected online by setting up an Oyster online account and linking the card to that account. This allows for a full protection against theft or loss, but the Oyster card will be able to hold only 7-day season tickets and pay-as-you-go.

Oyster card vending machine, installed at London Bridge station in December 2006. All machines of this design have been phased out. Ticket machines at London Underground stations, which accept banknotes, coins, and credit and debit cards. However, these limited-functionality cards cannot be registered. 5 for a refundable oyster card in January 2011. A registration form can be obtained at or after the time of purchase, which if not completed restricts the Oyster card to Pay-as-you-go and weekly tickets. Ticket vending machines on most National Rail stations will top-up Oyster cards and sell tickets that can be loaded on to Oyster.

New Oyster cards are not available at most National Rail stations and termini. At several main line termini, TfL runs Travel Information Centres, which do sell Oyster. Touch-screen ticket machines report the last eight journeys and last top-up amount. The same information is available as a print-out from ticket offices, and also on board London Buses by request. The balance is displayed on some Underground barriers at the end of journeys that have caused a debit from the balance, and can also be requested at newsagents and National Rail stations that provide a top-up facility.

Oyster Online service can also deliver regular Travel Statements via email. A complete 8-week ‘touch’ history can be requested from TfL: for registered and protected Oyster cards, TfL can provide the history for the previous 8 weeks, but no further back. Oyster online also displays up to 8 weeks of journey history. Oyster card readers on London Underground ticket barriers at Canary Wharf. London Underground stations to ‘touch in’ and ‘touch out’ at the start and end of a journey. Physical contact is not necessary, but the range of the reader is only a few millimeters. An Oyster card can hold up to three season tickets at the same time.