If the first time you try to use a newly issued or replacement contactless payment card is for a contactless payment, it probably won't work until a chip & PIN transaction has been completed.
If your card is new, you should also check the 'Valid From' date to ensure it is ready to be used.
You might be able to use your card at other retailers for contactless payments and at ticket offices and ticket issuing machines at stations for chip & PIN transactions, but it isn't accepted for travel on our services. This may be because:
Occasionally your card will not be accepted for travel, even though you have used it in the past to travel on our services. This could be because:
Sometimes payments may be declined by your card issuer, this may be because your card account does not have enough funds to pay for your journey.
If you get a red light when you touch your card on a reader, our staff will be able to tell you if your card issuer has declined payment. If this happens:
Occasionally your card may be accepted by our card readers, but the payment is subsequently declined by your card issuer. If this happens:
You will get a notification for unpaid fares when you sign in to your contactless and Oyster account where you can make a payment to clear the unpaid fare. Alternatively you can call us on 0343 222 1234 (TfL call charges).
If you have an unpaid fare on your card and you touch it on a card reader, it will not be accepted for travel, but our system will send a request to your issuer to clear the unpaid fare.
Once an unpaid fare has been cleared, you will be able to use your contactless payment card again to travel after 30 minutes.
If you do not clear the unpaid fare through your account or by phone, we will try to do so by sending requests to your card issuer. If the payment is successful, this could appear on your card issuer statement up to 30 days after you travelled.
Occasionally we will stop a card from further use, if your card has had failed revenue inspections or we have detected suspicious travel.
Very occasionally cards stop working and are no longer recognised by the card readers. If your card no longer works for contactless payments at other retailers, please contact your card issuer.
Check that your card is still valid. If it has expired, please ask your card issuer for a new one.