Your money's no good here: the elimination of cash payment on London buses

Gary Pritchard, John Vines, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


As digital payments become increasingly important features of economic exchange, traditional forms of payment such as cash are becoming phased out in certain settings. We study one such context-the elimination of cash payment on London buses in July 2014. We conducted ethnographic fieldwork, interviews with drivers and collected online and social media comments before, during and shortly after the introduction of cashless fares. We explore how drivers and passengers were fearful of the change due in part to a lack of information and communication, the anticipation of negative effects on vulnerable passengers and a compromise in freedom, flexibility and surveillance. We highlight the ways cashless payments can alter the social function of money, create new forms of work for drivers and passengers, and if not carefully introduced can cause emotional stress and fears of state surveillance and control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCHI/CHI 2015 - Proceedings of the 33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationApril 18–23, 2015 Seoul, Republic of Korea
EditorsKori Inkpen, Woontack Woo
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331456
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Duration: 18 Apr 201523 Apr 2015
Conference number: 33rd (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2015
Abbreviated titleCHI 2015
CountryKorea, Republic of (South)
Internet address


  • Cashless
  • Contactless
  • Electronic payments
  • Public transport

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