Transport for London (TfL) is considering developing an application to allow drivers in the capital to pay the Congestion Charge from their smartphones, as part of the organisation's ongoing digital technology push.
Currently drivers can pay by text message, but an online consultation launched on Monday shows that TfL is considering scrapping the text system and instead moving to an app system.
“As part of this consultation, we are proposing to remove the option to pay the Congestion Charge by SMS (text message) and introducing a new app for Smartphones and Smart Devices, which will enable faster payments and access to account information,” the consultation reads.
TfL said that just 0.7 percent of drivers pay the Congestion Charge via text message now, down from 17 percent at its peak, and so moving to an app system would make more sense.
TfL added: "The app will allow customers to pay the charge in advance and up to midnight on the next charging day after travel, as well as weekly and monthly charges. The app will also provide registered customers with additional functions such as being able to manage and amend account balances and account information."
If the consultation receives support for the app plans, TfL said it would hope to have it developed and live by 1 November 2015. The consultation closes on 12 September 2014.
TfL also wants to scrap the ability for third-party websites to let people pay the charge, claiming these firms can often over-charge drivers.
The move to build an app comes as part of a widespread digital overhaul of TfL’s services, which has seen the introduction of contactless payments on buses, tubes and trams, and the launch of a new HTML5 website that can run on the multitude of device screens used by travellers in the capital.
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