The BBC reports that the Oystercard may soon be used as e-money, following trials in some London boroughs with libraries. The possible Oystercard-as-e-money functionality has been touted from the start of the smart card scheme, but so far there don't seem to have been any firm plans for specific implementations.
These are the implementations I'd like to see:
- For payment at vending machines in Underground stations (the most obvious use).
- Paying for newspapers in WHSmiths at train stations (replacing current coin drop box).
- Admission fees at the lower-cost tourist attractions (using cashier-less turnstiles).
- Small purchases at newsagents which already have Oystercard machines
- Payment for national rail travel at ticket machines