Apple Pay's Tap-and-Go Express Transit Mode Now Live in London, Advertised on MetroCards in NYC

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Last week, MacRumors reported that Apple Pay's Express Transit mode was being tested at some London Underground stations. And now, Apple has formally announced that Express Transit mode is live across all Transport for London services, including the tube, buses, trains, and trams.

Apple has been alerting customers in the United Kingdom about this news by email, pointing them to a new page on its website with more details.


Express Transit mode eliminates the need to authenticate your payment with Face ID or Touch ID. And you don't need to wake or unlock your device, either. Simply tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the card reader and go. You'll need an iPhone 6s and newer or an Apple Watch Series 1 or newer.

If you have an iPhone XS or newer, Express Transit mode even works for up to five hours after your iPhone shuts off and displays a red battery icon.

To set up a card for use with Express Transit mode, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Wallet & Apple Pay > Express Transit Card. Select a card and then authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.


In related news, Apple has started advertising Apple Pay with Express Transit mode on some MetroCard fare cards in New York City, as shared on Reddit. The MTA added support for the feature earlier this year. Express Transit mode is also supported in Portland, Beijing, Shanghai, and parts of Japan.

Article Link: Apple Pay's Tap-and-Go Express Transit Mode Now Live in London, Advertised on MetroCards in NYC
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,252
423
UK
Is this just for London Underground??

What about the security implications? ie, if your handset is lost/stolen it can be used without any authentication?

I don't use the Underground very often, but when I do I usually authenticate as Im walking up to the barrier, so my handset is ready before I get to it.....
 

iGeneo

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2010
446
624
I live in an area that does not have mass transit but I still think this in an incredibly cool idea to speed up the payment process for those who take mass transit.
You’re absolutely right, the line at the tube in London moves really fast, slowing down for people authenticating on their phones is a bit of a pain. Typically not touch ID but rather face ID
- - Post merged: - -

Is this just for London Underground??

What about the security implications? ie, if your handset is lost/stolen it can be used without any authentication?

I don't use the Underground very often, but when I do I usually authenticate as Im walking up to the barrier, so my handset is ready before I get to it.....
Same for your contactless credit card.

I do the same, authenticate about 50 feet away as I’m walking towards the gate, but those that don’t really jam things up
 

Wjdku

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2019
4
4
At first I liked this idea, but then I realized all the work that apple did to make the phones a worthless target for thieves is impacted by this feature. I sure hope not. Maybe the day or two someone is able to get free transit with a stolen phone before the associated card is cancelled won’t be enough to inspire thefts. But the thought of increased iPhone thefts and needing to cancel cards makes this possibly annoying.
 

yossi

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2004
184
574
At first I liked this idea, but then I realized all the work that apple did to make the phones a worthless target for thieves is impacted by this feature. I sure hope not. Maybe the day or two someone is able to get free transit with a stolen phone before the associated card is cancelled won’t be enough to inspire thefts. But the thought of increased iPhone thefts and needing to cancel cards makes this possibly annoying.
How about require authentication within 5 minutes prior to walking into subway?
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
2,654
1,186
At first I liked this idea, but then I realized all the work that apple did to make the phones a worthless target for thieves is impacted by this feature. I sure hope not. Maybe the day or two someone is able to get free transit with a stolen phone before the associated card is cancelled won’t be enough to inspire thefts. But the thought of increased iPhone thefts and needing to cancel cards makes this possibly annoying.
In case you don’t know - it’s not clear from the tone of your post - this is an optional feature. You don’t have to enable it.
 

Mac Rules

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2006
485
322
Switzerland
Is this just for London Underground??

What about the security implications? ie, if your handset is lost/stolen it can be used without any authentication?

I don't use the Underground very often, but when I do I usually authenticate as Im walking up to the barrier, so my handset is ready before I get to it.....
Bear in mind that the maximum you can spend on your Oyster card in a day is, I think, around £10. So in the worst case that's the most you could lose - nobody would be able to use it in a shop to pay for anything.
I think the compromise is fine and certainly no worse than losing your actual oyster card or contactless credit card
 

JamesLeSmash

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2014
15
11
Does anyone know how this actually works? Have TFL (or MTA etc) actually done anything with their barrier hardware/software to enable Express Transit?

Or once you've enabled it on your phone will it now trigger whenever it goes near any NFC card reader?
 

Wjdku

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2019
4
4
In case you don’t know - it’s not clear from the tone of your post - this is an optional feature. You don’t have to enable it.
Yep, I understand that. But if 1 in 5 turn it on that will be enough for it to be worth pick pocketing to find out. And certainly easy to spot someone going in the turnstiles using this method.
 

macguru212

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2009
358
708
NYC/Tokyo
Does anyone know how this actually works? Have TFL (or MTA etc) actually done anything with their barrier hardware/software to enable Express Transit?

Or once you've enabled it on your phone will it now trigger whenever it goes near any NFC card reader?
I suspect you'll have to "open" the card and press up against a reader. Merely passing by won't do a thing, that would be a security nightmare lol. Works just like every other Apple Pay transaction, I suspect.
 

Wjdku

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2019
4
4
I suspect you'll have to "open" the card and press up against a reader. Merely passing by won't do a thing, that would be a security nightmare lol. Works just like every other Apple Pay transaction, I suspect.
Nope, you do not need to open wallet or even turn your phone on. As noted this feature will even work if your battery dies for 5 hours afterwards. Basically you turn this feature on within your phone settings by selecting a card to associate with it. I am sure Apple and transit authority have put in security measures that authenticate it as a supported transit transaction and not a spoofed one, but don’t know how that part works.
 

andysw9

macrumors member
May 2, 2014
36
24
London
I suspect you'll have to "open" the card and press up against a reader. Merely passing by won't do a thing, that would be a security nightmare lol. Works just like every other Apple Pay transaction, I suspect.
The whole point of Express Transit is that you don't need to authenticate and your nominated card is billed just by touching the reader with your phone/watch. Works nothing like any other Apple Pay transaction.
 

macguru212

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2009
358
708
NYC/Tokyo
Nope, you do not need to open wallet or even turn your phone on. As noted this feature will even work if your battery dies for 5 hours afterwards. Basically you turn this feature on within your phone settings by selecting a card to associate with it. I am sure Apple and transit authority have put in security measures that authenticate it as a supported transit transaction and not a spoofed one, but don’t know how that part works.
Well butter my biscuits... that sounds like a nightmare for security.
 

MacRS4

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2010
139
203
London, UK
Don't hurt me - just explaining how it works on other platforms - but my work Note 10 5G has this. It's simple, you just pull the phone out of your pocket and touch much like you would with any contactless card.

Works very well on the tube/TFL.

You don't have to do *anything* on the Note 10 other than push it against the reader. Exactly the same as a card.

How secure is it? Well, it's not less secure than a contactless card is it really...?

Haven't used my personal iPhone on the tube in an age because of the simplicity of it and because it means work pays for my tube & train use.
 
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podycust

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2017
31
32
Bear in mind that the maximum you can spend on your Oyster card in a day is, I think, around £10. So in the worst case that's the most you could lose - nobody would be able to use it in a shop to pay for anything.
I think the compromise is fine and certainly no worse than losing your actual oyster card or contactless credit card
thats incorrect you easily spend £20 - 30 in day
 
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MacRS4

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2010
139
203
London, UK
I've lost my mind, trying to quote:

Bear in mind that the maximum you can spend on your Oyster card in a day is, I think, around £10. So in the worst case that's the most you could lose - nobody would be able to use it in a shop to pay for anything.
I think the compromise is fine and certainly no worse than losing your actual oyster card or contactless credit card.

Meant to SAY:

This isn't true. I suspect you're mixing it up with the travel card cap. Go beyond those areas it can mount to 20+ quid a day quite easily.
- - Post merged: - -

thats incorrect you easily spend £20 - 30 in day
YES. Ye gods I made that harder than it needed to be.
 
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Jaspers dog

macrumors newbie
Dec 20, 2016
9
14
Well this addresses one of my major issues with Face ID, trying to stare at your phone whilst getting jostled in a human tidal wave towards the Tube barrier is a PITA.
Now if they can sort out having to pick it up of my desk to see it and reducing the notch so I can see the battery percentage on the home screen we're done.
 

MacRS4

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2010
139
203
London, UK
As a quick side-note, I've also got a k-ring. No, it's not a disease. Handy ring associated to a pre-pay card - great for the tube & quick stuff.

Don't do what I did though. Imagine the scene on the DLR. Woman comes over with the machine to check you've touched your card.

Woman: What are you doing?
Me: It's...just touch my ring.
Carriage: *silence*

It's for this reason I'm in Singapore I can no longer get the DLR.
 
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hektor6tygr

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2014
13
3
Parts of Japan?? you can basically use it anywhere except Okinawa haha
Regarding security, it works the same as a normal card, so technically people can use your card to ride for free or buy stuff (Japan's Suica also serves as e-money) But it's the same thing with a physical card so I don't see much of a problem with it.
 
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