Sales Ambassadors UK reveal the £400 million unclaimed Oyster card fortune
It has been revealed that TFL have almost £400 million from unused oyster cards and oyster card purchases. Sales Ambassadors based in Canary Wharf, who rely heavily on TFL for their staff, discuss.
If you live in London, unless you live under a rock, you own an oyster card, or at least know what one is. You get to a train station, purchase one, top it up with ten pounds and off you go on your travels. “Have you ever lost an oyster card? Or found one lying around that ended up having a few pounds on it from years ago?” asked Hicham Mouden, SEO of Sales Ambassadors UK “Imagine the millions of people that have done the same thing, or tourists that have taken it back home with a few pounds remaining, all those pounds quickly add up and in this case we are talking billions!”.
The £400 million fortune does include the £5 fee for an oyster card, but the other 200 million comes from the 66 million cards that haven’t been used in the last year. “Just under £200 million pounds is sitting in accounts managed by the group treasury for TFL, and is being used for transport improvements” explained Peter Braggins, Accounts and Finance manager at Sales Ambassadors.
The main question is, how has the amount added up so high? The answer is relatively simple, apart from the obvious lost cards. “Contactless is now one of the more popular ways for people to pay for things, including travel, why use an oyster card when you have a card that can do everything in one?” stated Peter Braggins, Accounts and Finance manager at Sale Ambassadors Canary Wharf. Over the last 12 months, more journeys have been made using contactless than Oyster, however it is only a few million between, Oyster cards are still very popular and look set to stay that way.
Why have all these amounts not been claimed? “I doubt people know they can claim it, the average amount on unused cards is £3.46, so to most people it is not a huge amount, especially not to go through the hassle of claiming. But TFL have said that anyone wishing to claim or receive a full refund they are able to do so.
Do you have an oyster card laying around? It may be worth checking, there are almost 1000 oyster cards in circulation with £90 unused on them.. the Oyster limit.