BUS passengers can now pay for their journey with a tap of a bank card with National Express West Midlands’ contactless launch.

After decades of only accepting exact change, every one of the bus company’s 1,600 buses now have contactless technology installed.

By taping their bank card on the reader, the passenger’s fare will be worked out automatically.

Tom Stables, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: “Now our customers won’t even have to work out what ticket they need.

“The first tap pays for one trip. Then, however many more trips you make that day, you will never be charged more than an adult day ticket.

“It really is that easy – and it’s always the same price as the adult cash fares. We know this is what National Express West Midlands customers want.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said the bus company’s move could speed up bus journey times by up to 10 per cent.

He added: “One of the things I hear repeatedly from users of public transport is that they want paying for travel to be easier and quicker.

“In addition to the convenience for passengers, there’s an important impact on congestion. The new technology speeds up buses because passengers spend less time buying tickets. They don’t even have to pick up a paper ticket - they just tap their bank card and sit down.

“This saves each customer just a few seconds. But across a long West Midlands bus route with over 100 bus stops, those seconds add up.”