Santander Cycle scheme to accept contactless payments for the first time

Posted: 9 November 2018 | | No comments yet

The move is part of the Mayor and TfL’s commitment to encourage more people to make their journeys by walking, cycling or public transport.


Customers using London’s Santander Cycles scheme will be able to use contactless payment cards to hire cycles for the first time from mid-November 2018.

All 775 terminals will be updated to allow customers to hire a cycle using their contactless bank card, rather than chip and pin, accepting all major UK and international cards. By removing five stages of the payment process, the hiring process at the terminal will be quicker and easier.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “To make our city cleaner and healthier we must do everything we can to make cycling a part of people’s everyday routine. The introduction of contactless payment and speeding up the process will make a real practical difference, allowing both Londoners and tourists to hire a bike more quickly and easily.

“The Santander Cycles continue to be a huge success, with record numbers of people using them over recent months. This will increase their appeal even further.”

The improvements to the terminals and introduction of a simpler hiring process follows a hugely successful summer and autumn, where Santander Cycles set a new record, achieving five consecutive months with more than 1 million hires.

Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer at Santander UK, said: “The Santander Cycles scheme continues to go from strength to strength and is a great example of our commitment to help people and businesses prosper. Since we started our partnership in 2015, we’ve worked hard with TfL to bring innovation to the scheme by adding new smart technology to the bicycles, Beryl’s Laserlights to improve the visibility of cyclists on the road and a top-rated app. The introduction of contactless payments is another exciting milestone for Santander Cycles, meaning hiring a cycle to get around the city will be easier than ever before.”

Work to upgrade the terminals will take place between 17-22 November 2018 and will only affect users hiring from the terminal, not customers using membership keys or the Santander Cycles app. A free code, CYCLE18, will be available for all customers to use once on the app, giving a 24 hour access code for 30 minute journeys.

David Eddington, Head of Cycle Hire at TfL, said: “Making Santander Cycles accessible with contactless payment cards will make it even easier for our customers to get out and enjoy the benefits of exploring London by bike. Customers from all over the world use our record-breaking scheme and we’re pleased that they will soon find it even easier to hire a bike. We encourage all users to download the app now, which means they won’t experience any disruption while we upgrade the system.”

Chip and pin facilities will still be available at all upgraded docking station terminals. Following the implementation of contactless, TfL will look to further upgrade the system to enable mobile devices to be used.

The upgrade is being delivered by Worldline and Cubic Transportation Systems. Simon Banks, Vice President (TfL account), at Cubic, said: “Building on the multimodal transportation systems that benefit London’s citizens is key to our relationship with TfL, and it is exciting and a privilege to be a part of TfL’s plans to upgrade the cycle hire system.”