In some rail systems around the world, the reloadable fare card can be “passed back” to others behind the gate to use and deduct additional fare from the same card for their travel. This is not the case with the Oyster system, where attempting to touch in or out multiple times causes the second touch to be rejected.
I’m going to be taking my friends on a journey and they do not have Oyster cards. Some systems that do not allow pass-backs allow you to use a ticket machine to purchase tickets for your friends using the currency value on the card.
Does Oyster have a similar system that will allow me to purchase tickets for my friends using the PAYG credit on the card?
No, Oyster cards can only be used by one person at a time as the fares are calculated as you go. The only other way to get money off the card is to request a full refund which disables the card.
If your friends have contactless bank cards then that is probably the best way to go. The fares are the same as Oyster and there’s no need to top up. At the end of each day the system totals up the best price for all your travel and requests the money from your bank.
So the pay as you go credit on your Oyster card can only be used for your own journeys and nothing else? I guess I could make do with contactless bank cards, but because I am bringing my friends on an outing, I am volunteering to uphold the entire cost of the outing. I guess I would just have to pay my friends back the cost externally?
Alternatively if they do not have bank cards and have to purchase the single journey fare, I can just pay the money out of pocket at the ticket machine before entering.
If you have contactless on card and devices (e.g. Apple Pay etc.) you can use each one separately so you could use card, phone, watch etc. aat the same time for different people, remembering to touch each one in and out.