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

jimthing

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Apr 6, 2011
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Nope. The impetus to make a digital version, or digital equivalent like passes on contactless, is the cost of making and distributing physical Oyster cards. TfL says that contactless is cheaper for them than Oyster, I gave the link above. Plus you have environmental mandates from government, somebody just needs to point out that x tons of CO2e are produced by Oyster cards per year.

If TfL is shouldering these costs, then TfL is going to demand a cardless solution. If Cubic's contract has them shouldering the cost, then they will implement a cardless solution.
To get to the point, for users forced to use Oyster/Freedom Pass cards (millions), what's the solution likely that TfL will go with? Because AFAICT, they don't seem to have any plans in place to deal with such users who cannot use contactless cards...? (don't get into technical language, I'm talking about how the London system specifically would realistically work for these users.)
 

konqerror

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Dec 31, 2013
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To get to the point, for users forced to use Oyster/Freedom Pass cards (millions), what's the solution likely that TfL will go with? Because AFAICT, they don't seem to have any plans in place to deal with such users who cannot use contactless cards...? (don't get into technical language, I'm talking about how the London system specifically would realistically work for these users.)
Just look at other similar systems, like Ventra which did exactly this.

One: passes (i.e. Travelcards) are associated to contactless cards. Basically you purchase a pass with a contactless card, it gets automatically tied to it. You can also change things around online.

Two: a bank issues prepaid debit cards that either are restricted to the system and/or are treated as a general prepaid debit card. This offloads accounting, finance, regulatory functions to a bank who likely already issues prepaid cards.

This was the first-generation Ventra card. Note the Mastercard logo. In fact they cost less than Oyster cards ($5 which was credited if you registered online)

ventraDebit.jpg
 
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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Just look at other similar systems, like Ventra which did exactly this.

One: passes (i.e. Travelcards) are associated to contactless cards. Basically you purchase a pass with a contactless card, it gets automatically tied to it. You can also change things around online.

Two: a bank issues prepaid debit cards that either are restricted to the system and/or are treated as a general prepaid debit card. This offloads accounting, finance, regulatory functions to a bank who likely already issues prepaid cards.

This was the first-generation Ventra card. Note the Mastercard logo. In fact they cost less than Oyster cards ($5 which was credited if you registered online)

View attachment 879814
you seem in this post and the other to be completely oblivious to TfL accepting two forms of contactless payment already - Oyster and a “contactless” (EMV) open loop system which accepts Visa/MasterCard bank cards. It is also already a careless solution, accepting Apple Pay etc. This was the work of MasterCard.

for the third and final time, these solutions you’re proposing are a) yes, what needs to happen but b) nothing to do with oyster or the company that is operating it, and therefore not a case of creating a digital oyster card.

Unless things have changed wildly since I’ve been away, a lot of season tickets are not on oyster at all but are paper-based, because of how they are funded (interest free loans from employers). Creating a digital Oyster card is a niche that would cost way too much for way too little a return.
 
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konqerror

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you seem in this post and the other to be completely oblivious to TfL accepting two forms of contactless payment already - Oyster and a “contactless” (EMV) open loop system which accepts Visa/MasterCard bank cards. It is also already a careless solution, accepting Apple Pay etc. This was the work of MasterCard.
I know what I'm talking about. Instead, you're the one oblivious to the fact that the number 1 impediment to use of contactless on TfL is that there is no support for monthly and annual Travelcards via contactless, so contactless is useless to regular commuters. (Daily and weekly caps are generally equivalent to their respective Travelcards)

I understand that the daily/weekly Travelcard reduction is likely tied in to reducing ticket touts by reducing the demand for paper versions.

Unless things have changed wildly since I’ve been away, a lot of season tickets are not on oyster at all but are paper-based, because of how they are funded (interest free loans from employers). Creating a digital Oyster card is a niche that would cost way too much for way too little a return.
That's what I've been saying, if you've been following along. TfL doesn't want anybody to use Oyster, they rather everybody use contactless because it's cheaper.
 
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Reason077

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Aug 14, 2007
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Unless things have changed wildly since I’ve been away, a lot of season tickets are not on oyster at all but are paper-based, because of how they are funded (interest free loans from employers). Creating a digital Oyster card is a niche that would cost way too much for way too little a return.
Season tickets for travel within the Greater London travelcard zones (and other stations where Oyster is accepted) are usually issued on Oyster cards these days, not paper tickets.

The paper ones are usually season tickets issued by train companies, which combine rail travel outside of London with a London travelcard. But even those are becoming obsolete with the ongoing rollout of ITSO smartcards (similar to Oyster, but issued by train companies).
 
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nicho

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That's what I've been saying, if you've been following along. TfL doesn't want anybody to use Oyster, they rather everybody use contactless because it's cheaper.
then I’m mystified why you began this argument in response to a post where I was highlighting to someone else why a digital Oyster card would not happen.

the physical cost of the cards is just one of the costs involved... and I’m pretty sure a minor one at that for a piece of plastic. contactless is cheaper because it also has less accounting involved (no need to worry about stored balances and cash flow) and no “top up” infrastructure needed - either in machine form or the backend stuff. a digital Oyster card would require investment in the infrastructure and still be no cheaper to run, beyond eliminating a cheap piece of plastic.
 

konqerror

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Dec 31, 2013
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then I’m mystified why you began this argument in response to a post where I was highlighting to someone else why a digital Oyster card would not happen.
Because your comment was a reply to mine. If your comment is in regards to somebody else's post, then quote their post or at least mention their username. It's hard to read other people's intent on a text based forum, you have to be explicit.
 

nicho

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Because your comment was a reply to mine. If your comment is in regards to somebody else's post, then quote their post or at least mention their username. It's hard to read other people's intent on a text based forum, you have to be explicit.
It wasn't a reply to yours, and I did quote their post.

Screenshot 2019-11-30 at 11.29.51 am.png
 

konqerror

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It wasn't a reply to yours, and I did quote their post.

View attachment 879979
Again, you're not being specific so I don't know what you're talking about, and now we're running in circles.

1575085834128.png


You need to quote the exact post you're talking about because there's multiple threads going on at the same time. As the screenshot shows you're talking about the efficiencies of contactless-only transit systems.

Now you're bringing in a post half a day ago about Oyster being private. In reply to that, I clearly stated that your assertion that Oyster being private has nothing to do with them not implementing contactless passes since the exact same vendor that Oyster uses, Cubic, has done so on a PPP basis with Ventra. This was the same argument made by @dontwalkhand
 

nicho

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Again, you're not being specific so I don't know what you're talking about, and now we're running in circles.

View attachment 879981

You need to quote the exact post you're talking about because there's multiple threads going on at the same time. As the screenshot shows you're talking about the efficiencies of contactless-only transit systems.

Now you're bringing in a post half a day ago about Oyster being private. In reply to that, I clearly stated that your assertion that Oyster being private has nothing to do with them not implementing contactless passes since the exact same vendor that Oyster uses, Cubic, has done so on a PPP basis with Ventra. This was the same argument made by @dontwalkhand
I quoted the exact post was talking about at the time. You can see in the screenshot in my previous reply to you, that I had done so. I was not talking to you at all. Expanding the previous screenshot thusly:

Screenshot 2019-11-30 at 12.15.09 pm.png


I brought this post in because, well, that's when you for whatever reason - and I see now from your provision of a screenshot that it's not an inability due to an app etc. to see quoted posts, clearly just a fundamental inability to read usernames and follow multiple arguments - decided that my reply to dontwalkhand was a reply to you.

But anyway, yes this is very circular because what you don't seem to understand is that Oyster being private has everything to do with them not implementing contactless. Being a private company they have no obligations to the citizens of London and won't serve niche markets "just because", unless there's a real business case for it. The fact that a digital oyster card hasn't happened yet, suggests that despite what people are saying there is in fact no business case to support it.

The differences between Oyster and Ventra are principally based around Oyster being old and Ventra being new. The contract to maintain an existing system would be worlds apart from a contract to develop a new system, and provide no impetus for change unless tfl asked and paid for it - which they're unlikely to do mid-contract. The most likely place to force change is at the tendering process for the next contract, when it can be imposed as a requirement for bidding etc.

To make crystal clear, Cubic could NOT do the same things they did in London as they have with Ventra, because there is already an existing EMV/open loop contactless solution, which was developed by MasterCard with TfL. The two - contactless and Oyster - work side by side. One works digitally while one does not. One doesn't work with season tickets, while the other does. But there is no impetus for either to become the other. And Cubic especially could not and would not change the way Oyster works to become like Ventra, since it would need to piggy back on the existing solution from Mastercard. This would essentially result in them shutting the door on that income stream.

As soon as Oyster becomes little more than a prepaid mastercard then Oyster is no longer oyster, it's just one of a number of cards that work in someone else's system. Citymapper is already working in partnership with mastercard on creating weekly passes that don't use oyster. It works in Apple Pay and uses EMV.

https://citymapper.com/pass#our-passes

It's not hard to imagine this being extended to monthly or annual passes in the future. The processing is likely done in the backend though, and so the technology may not easily be transferable to enable a situation as described for Ventra above "passes (i.e. Travelcards) are associated to contactless cards. Basically you purchase a pass with a contactless card, it gets automatically tied to it. You can also change things around online." I also question whether any card issuer would ever be in favour of that, since they currently take a small cut of journey costs as a processing fee and being able to load passes onto cards might lead to a processing model where they couldn't do that. Again - private businesses don't generally have to do things and can't generally be made to - only made not to.
 

Manatlt

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Aug 26, 2013
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Try getting stuck behind someone if their TouchID doesn't authenticate when you have thousands of people moving through the gates every hour.
Right now, it is sort of the same with Express Transit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails.

But then again, TfL is probably under a secret beta with this thing, and some terminals need replacing or need an update.
 

delta0

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Sep 1, 2018
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London
Just got an email from Apple confirming all of TFL is working with express mode. It will continue to work up to 5 hours after your phone has run out of battery.
 
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mrklaw

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Jan 29, 2008
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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!
yeah although I like the convenience of straight apple pay currently, if I'm moving to a transit card (and the relative lack of security) - I'd prefer the option to allocate a prepaid card which limits my exposure to fraud. Suica lets you update using apple pay (with face/touch ID) so that would be useful too.

Virtual oyster please!
 
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jimthing

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Apr 6, 2011
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yeah although I like the convenience of straight apple pay currently, if I'm moving to a transit card (and the relative lack of security) - I'd prefer the option to allocate a prepaid card which limits my exposure to fraud. Suica lets you update using apple pay (with face/touch ID) so that would be useful too.

Virtual oyster please!
You can do the pre-paid card now if you want, just add a small amount, and set as Express Transit card. Although your exposure to fraud is already limited by both the TfL daily cap (~£10/day) and Find My to freeze your phone.

Although I still haven't heard anyone of the knowledgeable users on here offer a solution to Oyster card users like the unemployed, discounted Oyster users, retired Freedom Pass users, et al.

So while I understand TfL saving Oyster running costs going forward by getting users to use debit/credit cards as much as possible, I still cannot see how Oyster/Freedom Passes will be or can be stopped unless digital versions are created. Or is it simply that TfL expect those users to remain second-class non-digital citizens having to carry a piece of plastic around years after everyone else doesn't (a completely politically unsustainable position to leave said users in, IMO, meaning they'll be forced under pressure to act).
 

metz2000

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Dec 28, 2012
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While not yet reflected on Apple's website, Apple Pay's Express Transit mode has been functional on at least some tube and bus routes in London since last Tuesday or so, according to multiple MacRumors readers.


Image: Trusted Reviews

One reader said the Express Transit mode works on Transport for London's U5 bus route between Hayes and Uxbridge, as well as at the Ealing Broadway and Farringdon stations serving the London Underground and National Rail. Not all stations support Express Transit mode yet, so this could be early testing.

Despite this, Transport for London has advised customers that Express Transit mode is "not currently an option" as recently as Thursday, although it said it is having "positive discussions with Apple" about enabling the feature. Apple and Transport for London did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Express Transit mode eliminates the need for users to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode or even wake their device when they pay for rides with Apple Pay. Simply hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader until you feel a vibration and payment has been completed.

Apple Pay with Express Transit mode is also available in New York City, Portland, Beijing, Shanghai, and where Suica is accepted in Japan.

Article Link: Apple Pay's Express Transit Mode Working in Parts of London Underground
Apple invented the wheel again :p Android solved this issue years ago, one only has to wake the screen without unlocking to enable contactless payment. I have the phone in a pouch and don't even have to remove from there, just press power button and tap anywhere, even on the Tube. I started using my phone for payment when they enabled this feature, until then it was easier to use my card.
 

delta0

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Sep 1, 2018
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Apple invented the wheel again :p Android solved this issue years ago, one only has to wake the screen without unlocking to enable contactless payment. I have the phone in a pouch and don't even have to remove from there, just press power button and tap anywhere, even on the Tube. I started using my phone for payment when they enabled this feature, until then it was easier to use my card.
I don’t even need to wake my phone or watch. Plus it works when the battery has gone for a few hours (apparently..)
 
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dontwalkhand

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Jul 5, 2007
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Apple invented the wheel again :p Android solved this issue years ago, one only has to wake the screen without unlocking to enable contactless payment. I have the phone in a pouch and don't even have to remove from there, just press power button and tap anywhere, even on the Tube. I started using my phone for payment when they enabled this feature, until then it was easier to use my card.
One problem, having to use Android when I’m entrenched in Apple’s ecosystem.
 
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r1biker

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Sep 17, 2016
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I'm having a lot of problems with it. It seems to work a couple of times, then it fails.

yesterday I checked in at South Quay and out at Embankment, all ok, but on the return at Temple and South Quay it failed and had to go back to normal Apple Pay, whilst holding up the line. I've had this before, it seems to initially work then fail on the same day.
 

vangeliis

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2019
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I'm having a lot of problems with it. It seems to work a couple of times, then it fails.

yesterday I checked in at South Quay and out at Embankment, all ok, but on the return at Temple and South Quay it failed and had to go back to normal Apple Pay, whilst holding up the line. I've had this before, it seems to initially work then fail on the same day.
No problems here.

If your phone is under warranty I would bring it back.