Transport for London (TfL) has bought the rights to the Oyster Card brand for £1m.
It means TfL can look at other uses of the Oyster electronic smartcard system, which is currently used as a pre-pay ticketing service.
It has said it had already undertaken a trial of Oyster on bank cards and mobile phones.
TfL has bought the rights from TranSys, whose contract to run the service expires this August.
Cubic Transportation Systems and HP Enterprise Services will then take over operating the system for the next five years.
TfL also has announced the early repayment of £101m of private finance initiative debt, owed to TranSys.
A spokesman said this had delivered £4m savings in interest payments.
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London's transport adviser, said: ''Oyster has the potential to be used for so much more than simply getting around the capital.
"And the technology is there to make it even more convenient for Londoners to use by integrating it into mobile phones or bank cards."