Google Pay

What is Google Pay?

Google Pay is a new payment method using contactless technology. Payments can now be made on most National Rail (including London Overground and TfL Rail) services in the Oyster Pay As You Go area; as well as the Bus, Tube, Tram and DLR (Docklands Light Railway). Google Pay uses unique security features built into the Near Field Communication (NFC) devices you have with you every day, so you can use your Android smartphone to pay in a simple, secure and private way.

Those wishing to use Google Pay to make contactless payments, are required to download the Google Pay app from the Play Store and link a valid payment card to the app. They will then be able to use their smartphone to make contactless payments. Only credit and debit cards issued by the following are accepted as of May 2020:

  • AIB
  • American Express
  • Bank of Scotland
  • B Bank
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • The Cumberland
  • First Direct
  • First Trust Bank
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Isle of Man Bank
  • John Lewis
  • Lloyds Bank
  • M&S Bank
  • MBNA
  • Metro Bank
  • Monese
  • Monzo
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Smile
  • Starling Bank
  • TSB
  • Ulster Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank

A full and up-to-date list can be found on the Google Support pages. To prevent fraud, your card details are not stored on your device, and each payment is made using an encrypted code. 

How does Google Pay work?

Transactions are made by touching a devices NFC antenna onto a contactless payment terminal or validator.


With smartphones (KitKat 4.4 OS or later) please touch the top of your phone on the contactless reader or validator. A subtle vibration and beep from your phone will let you know that payment information was successfully sent.


At present, a limited number of smartwatches with NFC technology are compatible with Google Pay. Check your manufacturers website for details.

Please remember to tap in and out with the same device at the contactless readers to ensure you pay the correct fares and do not switch between contactless payment card and smartphone mid-journey or you may be charged maximum fare.

Using GooglePay in the Oyster card area

You can add GooglePay to a TfL Online Account

You are able to input your Google Pay details into your Tfl online account. This will enable you to:

  • Get email alerts if there‚Äôs an issue with your device which may prevent you from traveling.
  • Apply for refunds for incomplete journeys
  • Download payment and journey history
  • Pay unpaid fares

See for details on how to set up an account and register a device

Daily capping

If you're unsure of the number of journeys you're going to make or where you want to go, contactless offers you flexibility and convenience. Make as many journeys as you like in a day and you'll never pay more than the daily cap for the zones you've travelled in.

The daily cap is calculated based on when and how you travel. Remember, you must continue to touch in and out even after you have reached a cap or you would still be charged a maximum fare.

Monday to Sunday capping

If you use the same method of contactless payment (Google Pay, contactless payment card, wearable, or Apple Pay) to pay for all your journeys throughout the week until Sunday, you may be eligible for a Monday to Sunday cap. Changing devices (even if the same bank account details are attached) will not be recognised by the system, due to the encryption process at the point of payment, and Monday to Sunday capping may not be applied.

Always touch in and out

Always touch in at the start and out at the end of your journey with the same Google Pay smart device on the yellow readers. The same applies if you are using contactless payment card, contactless wearable, or Apple Pay devices. You must still touch in and out even if the gates are open, to ensure you pay the right fare.

When changing trains without travelling through Zone 1, you may need to touch your card on a pink validator.

If you are travelling on a bus or tram you only have to touch at the start of your journey.

If you don't touch in and out on every journey you make we don't know where you have travelled, so we can't charge the right fare, if this happens your journey is "incomplete" and you could be charged a maximum fare. Maximum fares do not count towards a cap.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can customers under 18 get discounted travel across Transport for London (TfL) with an Google Pay account?

No, Google Pay customers using their device for their journey will be charged the standard Adult fare. Anyone under 18 should contact Transport for London (TfL) for discounted or free travel offers.

Can I use my Google Pay device on TfL ticket vending machines?

You use Google Pay at all terminals that are capable of contactless payments, including automatic ticket machines at Underground stations, National Rail station ticket offices and most modern ticket vending machines.

What happens if my Google Pay device runs out of battery?

Please ensure you have enough battery on your smart device to complete your journey. Should your device run out of battery mid-journey, you will not be able to tap out and will be charged a maximum fare. If a Revenue Protection Inspector asks you to tap your Google Pay device after the battery has died, please be aware that you could be liable for a Penalty Fare.

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Last updated:   31 May 2020