Apple Pay on Watch & London Underground

Dino F

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Original poster
Sep 16, 2010
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Croydon, South London, UK
I've just got back home from a day out in London and have to say that Apple Pay on my S0 Apple Watch is absolutely ABYSMAL on the London Underground.

Almost EVERY time, I went to use my watch to go through the barriers on the tube (double press on the side button of the watch so that my card shows up on the screen), up comes a message on the barriers stating "Seek Assistance". The barriers just do not work with the Apple Watch.

I think, out of the 4 or 5 times I had to go through a barrier, my Watch just failed with Apple Pay (and yes, my card is all set up correctly for this) every time bar once?! :mad:

It was just so much quicker and convenient to pull out my wireless bank card instead (which is the same card set up for Apple Pay) and use that.

Apple Pay on the London Underground is Waaaaaay OVERRATED..........
 
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KarimLeVallois

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Feb 22, 2014
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London
I've just got back home from a day out in London and have to say that Apple Pay on the Apple Watch is absolutely ABYSMAL on the London Underground.

Almost EVERY time, I went to use my watch to go through the barriers on the tube (double press on the side button of the watch so that my card shows up on the screen), up comes a message on the barriers stating "Seek Assistance". The barriers just do not work with the Apple Watch.

I think, out of the 4 or 5 times I had to go through a barrier, my Watch just failed with Apple Pay (and yes, my card is all set up correctly for this) every time bar once?! :mad:

It's was just so much quicker and convenient to pull out my wireless bank card instead (which is the same card set up for Apple Pay) and use that.

Apple Pay on the London Underground is Waaaaaay OVERRATED..........

To be fair the barriers are being particularly crap at the moment anyway! I use Oyster and that's even playing up. Not just me either, there are always massive queues at the barriers as people are having trouble getting through no matter what they use.
 
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Nell

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Jun 25, 2012
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London
I've always used my phone for Apple Pay on London Transport admits worked first time, every time. I think maybe the position of the sensor isn't ideal for the watch (for me anyway).
 
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v1597psh

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2014
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386
London
I use the watch on the underground almost every day and once or twice a week, it fails. Otherwise works fine. Go to tfl.co.uk and re-register your card there. It might help
 

Dino F

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Original poster
Sep 16, 2010
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Croydon, South London, UK
I use the watch on the underground almost every day and once or twice a week, it fails. Otherwise works fine. Go to tfl.co.uk and re-register your card there. It might help
It's not that the card fails - it's the watch which fails to get Apple Pay to work on the barrier on the tubes.

Perhaps the problem is that because the watch is so small, that when you tap the face of it against the yellow touch pad of the barrier, unless you hit the exact spot of the yellow touch pad where the sensor is, then Apple Pay will fail. With a phone, because it is a much wider surface area, it's more likely to hit the correct spot on the yellow touch pad of the barrier.
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
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877
England
It's not that the card fails - it's the watch which fails to get Apple Pay to work on the barrier on the tubes.

Perhaps the problem is that because the watch is so small, that when you tap the face of it against the yellow touch pad of the barrier, unless you hit the exact spot of the yellow touch pad where the sensor is, then Apple Pay will fail. With a phone, because it is a much wider surface area, it's more likely to hit the correct spot on the yellow touch pad of the barrier.
You don't actually need to touch it of the pad. Just hold it close. I use it every week and around Croydon and central London. Never had an issue.
 
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Dino F

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Original poster
Sep 16, 2010
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Croydon, South London, UK
You don't actually need to touch it of the pad. Just hold it close. I use it every week and around Croydon and central London. Never had an issue.
.....perhaps different barriers react differently then but today, I tried using it at Piccadilly Circus, where it failed twice and at London Bridge underground, where it actually worked.
 

BarracksSi

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Jul 14, 2015
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To be fair the barriers are being particularly crap at the moment anyway! I use Oyster and that's even playing up. Not just me either, there are always massive queues at the barriers as people are having trouble getting through no matter what they use.
Makes me think that the problem has nothing to do with Apple Pay.

I tried finding info not long after you guys posted (about an hour) and didn't see anything on their Twitter account. Any other news since then?
 

Brookzy

macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
4,747
4,723
UK
Apple Pay on London transport is absolute crap.
  • The ticket inspectors' machines can't cope with the one-time card number so you look like a fare evader (especially on buses)
  • The TfL account system can't cope with it either, so after two years it looks like I have 15 cards on my account.
  • It randomly won't work, as OP said (oh the death stares you get from everyone :rolleyes:)
  • It's slower than contactless cards or Oyster
I've contacted both TfL and the Apple Pay team about this multiple times but nothing has happened. I just use my card now.
 
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Dino F

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Original poster
Sep 16, 2010
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Croydon, South London, UK
Apple Pay on London transport is absolute crap.
  • The ticket inspectors' machines can't cope with the one-time card number so you look like a fare evader (especially on buses)
  • The TfL account system can't cope with it either, so after two years it looks like I have 15 cards on my account.
  • It randomly won't work, as OP said (oh the death stares you get from everyone :rolleyes:)
  • It's slower than contactless cards or Oyster
I've contacted both TfL and the Apple Pay team about this multiple times but nothing has happened. I just use my card now.

...I have to agree 100% with everything you have said here, and I too, just use my card now as it is quicker and more convenient.
 

nebo1ss

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Jun 2, 2010
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I keep my Oyster card stored in a flap on my phone case. I use London underground and buses everyday and when i tap my phone to use the Oyster card, the Apple Wallet always launch as well. That would seem to suggest the the phone and wallet has no problem with the TFL reader. Of course it makes no difference that the wallet launches because it never gets a finger print for payment.
 

iGeek2014

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Jun 29, 2014
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=== Nowheresville ===
I was in London the other week and it was easier for me to use my iPhone 7 Plus than get my Apple Watch Series 0 ready (was wearing a thick jumper).

A couple of times I had to quickly walk away from the ticket barrier and try again to touch in/out. At one point iPhone even came with an error message.

A quick soft reset and I escaped, haha.

But normally I don't tend to have trouble using my Watch on TfL.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
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Shropshire, UK
A major issue with using my watch on the underground is the location of the readers - they're positioned for your right hand and I wear my watch on my left.

Performance wise, Oyster is faster than contactless and contactless is faster than Apple Pay (and Apple pay on the watch is slower than Apple pay on the phone), so I would probably never use my watch when it was busy (even using contactless can cause enough of a delay to result in a lot of tutting at busy times ;))
 
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Brookzy

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May 30, 2010
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A major issue with using my watch on the underground is the location of the readers - they're positioned for your right hand and I wear my watch on my left.
It did make me laugh when the PR shots for Apple Pay on the Underground conveniently had three or four people in the same picture all wearing the Watch on their right wrist when in practice it seems nearly no-one does.

Also it's a lesser of two evils situation: if you wear it on the right, it's then on the wrong side for buses!
 
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iGeek2014

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Jun 29, 2014
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=== Nowheresville ===
It did make me laugh when the PR shots for Apple Pay on the Underground conveniently had three or four people in the same picture all wearing the Watch on their right wrist when in practice it seems nearly no-one does.

Also it's a lesser of two evils situation: if you wear it on the right, it's then on the wrong side for buses!
It's been some time since I caught a bus in London but I'll remember that if/when I catch one next time.

Phil A. I've often found touching in/out is more often than not faster on my Watch than my iPhone.
 

smileman

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2011
122
19
Anyone else still having problems using their watch on the tube?

This is a regular issue for me still. Super annoying and only happens with the watch, not my iPhone.
 
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Seanm87

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2014
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Am I going mad or did this thread have like 3 pages? Or is this a different one?
 

smileman

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2011
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