Watch out for card clash

cardclashThere is a new term that Transport for London is making everyone aware of – ‘card clash’. If you touch your contactless payment card on a yellow card reader when it’s in the same wallet or purse as another contactless card (like an Oyster card or building pass), the reader might detect more than one card. When this happens the card reader doesn’t know which card to read so rejects them. This is known as ‘card clash’.

If this happens on a bus (where contactless payment cards are already accepted), your fare could be charged to a card that you didn’t intend to pay with. When contactless payment cards become accepted on Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London, later in 2014, experiencing card clash could mean:

  • The ticket gate doesn’t open
  • A red light comes on when you touch in on the yellow card reader (or pink card reader)
  • Your fare is charged to a card you didn’t want to use to pay
  • You’re charged two maximum fares – this could happen because the yellow card reader reads one card when you touch in at the start of your journey and a different card at the end when you touch out

To avoid card clash:

  • Don’t touch your entire purse or wallet on yellow card readers
  • Get into the habit of separating your Oyster card from your contactless payment cards now
  • Only touch one card on a yellow card reader when touching in and out

This short animation is appearing throughout the TfL network on electronic display screens to educate the public about ‘card clash’

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Categories: Contactless Technology, Ticketing

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4 Comments on “Watch out for card clash”

  1. warero
    March 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Reblogged this on Javmode.

  2. No_card_clash
    July 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    “Get into the habit of separating your Oyster card from your contactless payment cards now” – this can be nightmare. Can you imagine that? I can’t. We should make life easier, not more uncomfortable.

    Is not better to keep contactless debit cards in RFID sleeve e.g like this one?

    Personally I love it. Entrance to tube station now is much more comfortable. I now which card was read.

  3. Cardclash
    August 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Find a solution for cardclash, help by filling out this quick survey

  4. September 22, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    Another solution now exists. Stop the Card Clash ( has RFID blocking sleeves for contactless cards. Inserting your card in a sleeve means that it can’t be read by TFL while the card is in the sleeve. If it can’t be read then it can’t be charged – problem sorted.

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