Apple Pay's Express Transit Mode Working in Parts of London Underground


Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
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61
I’m using it right now though.
You can add any card as an Express Travel Pass regardless of whether it's enabled on any transit services in your region, but that doesn't mean it will actually work on a transit network. Support has to be enabled for each transit network with an agreement between Apple and the transit company to enable it to actually work without pre-authorising via Face ID or Touch ID, and Cubic/TfNSW has not enabled it yet. (the similar functionality for TfNSW is already enabled on Samsung Pay, though)
 
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MecPro

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Mar 6, 2009
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This sounds good, but most London travellers would like the Ouster cards to be in our Apple wallets.

Japan has it with the Suica cards already!
 
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Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
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Exactly. Express Transit for credit cards on specific networks is an improvement, but EMV is so error-prone and slow with reading/processing compared to native MIFARE and FeliCa transit cards in Apple Pay, like Suica.

It'd be nice to see more transit networks work with Apple to implement native support for their MIFARE/FeliCa cards, but the companies don't appear to be technologically organised and modern enough to do it. (even Octopus in Hong Kong still hasn't got their native FeliCa-based card up and running in Apple Pay after a year of promises and actual beta testing)

Native cards support also means commuter passes like monthly and weekly plans can be supported, like in Japan with Suica, rather than the clunky workarounds with EMV credit cards that some transit networks are having to do.
 
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konqerror

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Exactly. Express Transit for credit cards on specific networks is an improvement, but EMV is so error-prone and slow with reading/processing compared to native MIFARE and FeliCa transit cards in Apple Pay, like Suica.

It'd be nice to see more transit networks work with Apple to implement native support for their MIFARE/FeliCa cards, but the companies don't appear to be technologically organised and modern enough to do it.
MiFare/FeliCa stored value is dead or dying, at least in the US and Europe. It's contactless now; look at London's transition away from stored-value.

Contactless transit is not EMV. Transit use simply records the card number and at the end of the day, the taps are reconciled and the appropriate charge made. Contactless transit doesn't actually make an EMV transaction at the point of use.

The issue with stored value are the costs to transit operators to manage customer deposits and comply with laws and regulations, such as unclaimed property and anti-money laundering. Then there's accounting, card distribution, and fraud/hacking inherent in the systems. Transit operators have realized these costs are much higher than having banks do it and aren't interested in the time and effort of running a bank on the side.

This sounds good, but most London travellers would like the Ouster cards to be in our Apple wallets.
TfL doesn't want Oyster to be in any of your wallets. Simply, contactless costs them less.
https://londonist.com/london/transport/state-of-the-oyster-card
 
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RoboCop001

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Oct 4, 2005
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This is just for single fare payments right? This isn’t using a transit-specific card?

I’m just wondering if it’s technically possible for an NFC transit card to work on an iPhone/Apple Watch. Does Apple allow that?
 

tiguk

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2008
311
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UK
I can confirm that it worked at King’s Cross St Pancras and Paddington stations this morning using my Apple Watch. Looks like it’s going live across London.
It seems more reliable than the Apple Pay method, which sometimes didn’t register correctly at the gate.
 
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Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
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MiFare/FeliCa is dead or dying, at least in the US and Europe. It's contactless now; look at London's transition away from stored-value.

Contactless transit is not EMV. Transit use simply records the card number and at the end of the day, the taps are reconciled and the appropriate charge made. Contactless transit doesn't actually make an EMV transaction.

The issue with MiFare/FeliCa are the costs to transit operators to manage customer deposits and comply with laws and regulations, such as unclaimed property and anti-money laundering. Transit operators have realized these costs are much higher than having banks do it.
Actually, contactless transit usually does involve processing a real time EMV transaction. If you have a modern bank/credit card provider that provides real time credit card statements, you'll see the transaction appear on your card instantly (e.g. American Express, MasterCard with banks like Macquarie, etc) - not just a notification from Apple Pay, an actual entry on your credit card statement in online banking. Source: my real life here in Taiwan.

Yes, there's no doubting that EMV is much more desirable from the perspective of the transit operators. And the credit card companies.

But it's a worse user experience: slow reads, mis-reads, requirement of having a credit card, or a supported debit card, etc (rules out many people in vulnerable categories). The ability to easily add an allowance of money for kids to use, or a weekly pass, etc on a native card is much more flexible. Those who think otherwise generally haven't lived in an environment with FeliCa or similar, or where transit cards can be used for every day purchases as well (e.g. Japan).
- - Post merged: - -

This is just for single fare payments right? This isn’t using a transit-specific card?

I’m just wondering if it’s technically possible for an NFC transit card to work on an iPhone/Apple Watch. Does Apple allow that?
They haven't implemented native card support in London, but yes, it is technically possible for native transit cards to be supported on iPhone/Apple Watch. The transit network needs to work with Apple to implement it. Suica in Japan is the best example of this, where the native cards are supported in Apple Pay and can support transit passes/plans, purchased tickets, recharging via all the usual methods that you can recharge such cards (at stations, in convenience stores, etc), along with manual or automatic recharging via credit card in Wallet.
 
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konqerror

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Dec 31, 2013
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Actually, contactless transit usually does involve processing a real time EMV transaction. If you have a modern bank/credit card provider that provides real time credit card statements, you'll see the transaction appear on your card instantly (e.g. American Express, MasterCard with banks like Macquarie, etc) - not just a notification from Apple Pay, an actual entry on your credit card statement in online banking. Source: my real life here in Taiwan.
Nope. Not in modern systems like London and Chicago. This is because the fare cannot be computed without gathering all of the day's transactions in one place. Fares vary not only by route, but by free transfers and capping. In some systems, many systems, terminals like gates and buses do not have Internet connectivity. Transit operators negotiated a special dispensation with Visa/Mastercard to make banks liable for small transit fares in lieu of an online authorization.

Read about it here: https://www.mastercard.us/content/dam/mccom/en-us/documents/transport-for-london-case-study-april-2017.pdf

Offline Data Authentication
The enhanced Oyster terminals can complete secure cryptographic EMV authentication for each transaction made by card or mobile device entirely offline without exchanging keys or data with remote servers. As such, the system is highly resilient against counterfeit attempts while maintaining the transaction speed necessary to allow high volumes of passengers to move through the transport system at peak hours.
Fare Aggregation
Mastercard recognises that most transport providers charge fares based on the distance the customer travels. For each journey, a cardholder must tap in to the transport system, travel between stations, and then tap out, only charging a fare after the second tap. To reflect this, Mastercard introduced an aggregation rule enabling TfL to offer daily and weekly capping, and charge each payment card on a daily cycle once these caps have been applied. More generally, the rule gives transport providers the flexibility to offer a range of other fare constructs such as free transfers and time-based tickets.
But it's a worse user experience: slow reads, mis-reads, requirement of having a credit card, or a supported debit card, etc (rules out many people in vulnerable categories). The ability to easily add an allowance of money for kids to use, or a weekly pass, etc on a native card is much more flexible.
Transit operators that are phasing out their own tickets have partnered with a bank to offer a contactless prepaid card. Prepaid cards are also readily available in stores in the US.

Those who think otherwise generally haven't lived in an environment with FeliCa or similar, or where transit cards can be used for every day purchases as well (e.g. Japan).
Japan is the land of the overcomplicated poor-UX solution. I can use contactless and draw from my main credit/bank account without dealing with the hassles of recharging a separate quasi-bank account.
 
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Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
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Nope. Not in modern systems like London and Chicago. This is because the fare cannot be computed without gathering all of the day's transactions in one place. Fares vary not only by route, but by free transfers and capping. Transit operators negotiated a special dispensation with Visa/Mastercard to make banks liable for small transit fares in lieu of an online authorization.
That is not universally applicable. Perhaps it might work that way in London or Chicago, but it does not work that way on all transit networks.

On many networks that support EMV, like those in Taiwan, the tap on at the entry gate causes an EMV pre-authorisation transaction of 1 TWD, which is done in real time with the credit card processor, then the tap off at the exit gate causes the remainder of the fare to be charged. The initial transaction is visible on the bank statement before you've completed the tap off.
 
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ChrisMoBro

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Oct 31, 2016
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It take seconds to authenticate Apple Pay either via Face ID or Touch ID... are we seriously becoming that lazy?
When it’s rush hour, and you have hundreds of people behind you, even TouchID is slower than using contactless on a bank card. I welcome this feature.
 
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brodandre

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2019
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6
London, England
As a Londoner myself, most of us who live & work in London and use public transport to commute have a travelcard on an Oyster. Contactless is a great option for homeworkers, those who don’t commute every day, and of course tourists, but to suggest that TfL are on the cusp of phasing out Oyster is a bit premature: the throngs of us who have travelcards on our Oysters can’t be served any other way at the moment, and we are a rather large constituency.


When it’s rush hour, and you have hundreds of people behind you, even TouchID is slower than using contactless on a bank card. I welcome this feature.
If only people would figure out that Touch ID and Face ID can be authenticated before arriving at the gateline, Apple Pay would be just as fast as using a physical EMV card. D’oh.
 

Manatlt

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2013
877
283
London, UK
I can confirm that it worked at King’s Cross St Pancras and Paddington stations this morning using my Apple Watch. Looks like it’s going live across London.
It seems more reliable than the Apple Pay method, which sometimes didn’t register correctly at the gate.
I’ll check Kings Cross St Pancras out today
 

Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
39
61
Japan is the land of the overcomplicated poor-UX solution. I can use contactless and draw from my main credit/bank account without dealing with the hassles of recharging a separate quasi-bank account.
Spoken like someone who hasn't lived in Japan.

Or who doesn't commute to work on public transit.

And there are no "hassles" to deal with when it comes to recharging a transit card like Suica: you just turn on auto recharge in the Wallet app and it'll recharge itself from your credit card.

That gives you the double benefit of not having to think about how much is on the card, in addition to having access to commuter passes with the benefits of weekly and monthly travel plans. In Japan, these commuter passes are usually paid for by your employer.

To suggest that native transit cards are inferior to using credit/debit cards is to show a lack of knowledge about how people use cards like Suica, Oyster, etc in real life. What are you going to do, give your 11 year old a credit card to ride the train to school?

I'm out of this thread. There's no point trying to have a discussion with a "forum expert" who has no real world experience of the subject matter.
 

konqerror

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Dec 31, 2013
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Spoken like someone who hasn't lived in Japan.
Nope, very familiar with Asian stored value systems. Used one that predates Japan. It's an additional complication and a pain.

If you didn't know the Japanese system was late to the game thanks to not-invented-here. It was an Australian company that invented RFID stored value transit systems.

You haven't used London or Chicago's systems. One card, tap and go. No setup, no transfers. You claiming they are "slow" and "error prone" shows you are inexperienced.

It's typical Japan. Multiple cards and accounts. One for transit, one for tolls, one stored cash value, one for credit...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suica#/media/File:ICCard_Connection_en.svg versus Visa/Mastercard/AMEX.

Even in the Tokyo region, you have SUICA and PASMO, which are not interchangeable since you have to get the right one for season tickets.

What are you going to do, give your 11 year old a credit card to ride the train to school?
I said above prepaid debit cards are readily available. You didn't want to read that.

I'm out of this thread. There's no point trying to have a discussion with a "forum expert" who has no real world experience of the subject matter.
Same. Not interested in arguing somebody who's used exactly one system in their life and insists they've seen the whole world.
 
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Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
39
61
Same. Not interested in arguing somebody who's used exactly one system in their life and insists they've seen the whole world.
If you insist on making such false claims about me, I'll correct you: my experience comes as an Australian who has lived as a daily commuter in Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, the UK, France and Switzerland. It may seem improbable to you, but some people have jobs that take them to many places around the world.

Everyone here can believe whatever they want.
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,537
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tokyo
Nope, very familiar with Asian stored value systems. Used one that predates Japan. It's an additional complication and a pain.

If you didn't know the Japanese system was late to the game thanks to not-invented-here. It was an Australian company that invented RFID stored value transit systems.

You haven't used London or Chicago's systems. One card, tap and go. No setup, no transfers. You claiming they are "slow" and "error prone" shows you are inexperienced.

It's typical Japan. Multiple cards and accounts. One for transit, one for tolls, one stored cash value, one for credit...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suica#/media/File:ICCard_Connection_en.svg versus Visa/Mastercard/AMEX.

Even in the Tokyo region, you have SUICA and PASMO, which are not interchangeable since you have to get the right one for season tickets.


I said above prepaid debit cards are readily available. You didn't want to read that.


Same. Not interested in arguing somebody who's used exactly one system in their life and insists they've seen the whole world.
in order to help you understand more accurately, this useful blog might be of help to you. :)
https://atadistance.net/2019/06/25/apple-pay-smart-octopus-launch/
 

konqerror

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2013
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in order to help you understand more accurately, this useful blog might be of help to you. :)
https://atadistance.net/2019/06/25/apple-pay-smart-octopus-launch/
I am familiar with Octopus. Asian countries are different from the West because of the lower penetration of bank accounts and cards, due to lower incomes but also culture. Asia tends to be cash-heavy far beyond the West.

Japan in particular has western levels of banking and credit cards, but nobody actually uses electronic payments, hence relatively high use of stored value systems. Basically, electronic payments were forced upon them by transit, so it gets used for small-value transactions. This is part of the "Galápagos syndrome" of Japan, they do things differently due to culture so their systems are not necessarily exportable.

The opposite would be Singapore, which does have high penetration of contactless credit/debit for all kinds of transactions, and now has contactless transit. In Singapore, you use full EMV contactless where the Japanese use their IC cards.

Basically, the other poster doesn't understand that Japan has a problem: that Japanese refuse to use card payments even though their banking system is perfectly fine for this, and their invented solution: use of transit cards to stand in as a low-value debit card. And that problem doesn't apply to most Western countries who use cards just fine, and therefore there is no need to adopt a stored-value solution here.
 
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nigelt28

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2012
5
0
Tried this morning at Waterloo Station and Green Park and worked very well. MUCH faster than having to use touch ID etc... anyone using a London tube station during the rush hour will appreciate.
 

Music Ambulance

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2008
120
65
It take seconds to authenticate Apple Pay either via Face ID or Touch ID... are we seriously becoming that lazy?
Services need to constantly improve to remain competitive. More likely the lazy people would be the ones who don’t use this.
 

Reason077

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2007
2,188
679
Ok so let’s all just hope hackers out there don’t discover a way to fake their own “Express Transit” to start siphoning our money just like our contactless bank cards are exposed nowadays ☺🤦🏻‍♂️
Presumably the hackers would have to start and operate a transit company to pull this off. Long game.
- - Post merged: - -

You clearly have never used London’s tube. You’re not allowed ‘a few seconds’
You can “pre-authenticate” Apple Pay before/as you approach the ticket gates or while you wait in line to board the bus. Works perfectly.

Express Transit is even more convenient, of course.