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

Xirian

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2007
78
48
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.
You don’t need to “cancel cards” if your phone is stolen. You just go to find my iPhone and wipe them.
 
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macguru212

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2009
371
726
NYC/Tokyo
How so? It's already in use many places with no issues. you have to be close enough to the reader with your phone almost touching for it it register....
I prefer some kind of on/off allow/disallow switch, rather than just on. I won't use something always on.
 

827538

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2013
1,298
1,181
Just to be clear, if I enable express mode on a card will that mean the card will work without authentication on regular contactless purchases?
 

newyorksole

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2008
3,807
3,842
New York.
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.
You guys really need to start taking responsibility for your actions. If you’re so in danger all the time and so worried/paranoid then just use a flip phone.

First people complain about their spouse being able to unlock their phone using Touch ID when they sleep, then it was being able to unlock Face ID when someone is asleep and now you’re worried about Express Transit if someone steals your phone?

Stop using the features then.

“AirPods are too small, I keep losing them.” Stop buying them then.

All of these things are optional.
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Just to be clear, if I enable express mode on a card will that mean the card will work without authentication on regular contactless purchases?
No this is literally only solely for TRANSIT. It will not work on anything else. Apple could do this with other companies, but for security they’re probably just testing it with transit. Makes sense.
 
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Wjdku

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2019
4
5
You guys really need to start taking responsibility for your actions. If you’re so in danger all the time and so worried/paranoid then just use a flip phone.

First people complain about their spouse being able to unlock their phone using Touch ID when they sleep, then it was being able to unlock Face ID when someone is asleep and now you’re worried about Express Transit if someone steals your phone?

Stop using the features then.

“AirPods are too small, I keep losing them.” Stop buying them then.

All of these things are optional.
- - Post merged: - -
I see you missed the point in your haste to be righteous. The point is regardless of whether I use the feature or not my phone becomes attractive to steal because I might have this feature on. If it doesn’t work for this because I had it off, they throw it away because otherwise it is worthless.

As to other comments that this is just like contactless cards, the difference is this is my phone not a piece of plastic. Much more to lose.

And lastly, I think Apple should release a security whitepaper (whatever they are able to publicly reveal) for this as they did for Apple Pay explaining their protections that prevent spoofing of transit terminals in order to fraudulently charged against phones that have this on. I think one important point, don’t enable a Express Pay with a full fledged credit or debit card. Use something with much less charge potential if possible.
 

Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
282
429
UK
Suggest you follow the link in the article to the Apple page....

Not only does it tell you which services it can be used on, it also tells you that it works with Apple Watch too...(just tap your watch and go). Plus it mentions about security...

"Apple never tracks your journey. And if you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can lock your card remotely. Express Mode is just for TfL services — all other payments still need Face ID or Touch ID authentication."

Link here for those that missed it in the article.. Apple link
 

alexandr

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2005
1,294
1,757
11201-121099
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.
hate to break it to you, but people who steal phones on subways, usually jump the turnstiles.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68020
Aug 20, 2015
2,454
3,318
Great idea, can't wait for it all over the NYC MTA other than the 4,5,and 6 lines.
Too bad we didn't have a SUICA card for everything, but this is definitely a step in the right direction it just took almost 19 years to get here. Glad Apple is around to modernize things in the US, finally.
Same! Like a dork, I caught the L at Union Square specifically so I could try this out. It worked perfectly and I got 2% off (a whopping nickel and a half, but I'll take it).

When they expand beyond this trial, I do hope they position the sensor higher up, near where the Metrocard reader slot is now.
 

alexandr

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2005
1,294
1,757
11201-121099
First people complain about their spouse being able to unlock their phone using Touch ID when they sleep, then it was being able to unlock Face ID when someone is asleep and now you’re worried about Express Transit if someone steals your phone?
oh, but you don't get it! the thief won't know that they aren't using the transit feature and will steal the phone regardless!! ;)
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68020
Aug 20, 2015
2,454
3,318
hate to break it to you, but people who steal phones on subways, usually jump the turnstiles.
Hate to break it to you, but pickpockets are professional operators and I really doubt many of them would risk getting stopped with hot goods over a fare that's under $3.
 
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alexandr

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2005
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When they expand beyond this trial, I do hope they position the sensor higher up, near where the Metrocard reader slot is now.
wait, where are they now? the ones i've seen, seem like a small add on on the same level as where the card slot is?
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Hate to break it to you, but pickpockets are professional operators and I really doubt many of them would risk getting stopped with hot goods over a fare that's under $3.
i've seen them. you need to take care of your s•••.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,273
1,290
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.
If this is a legitimate fear, leave express transit off and just tap with face or Touch ID.
- - Post merged: - -

How about require authentication within 5 minutes prior to walking into subway?
Great idea, but won’t work for buses. I guess you could authenticate right before getting on the bus.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,591
4,063
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.
You're quite paranoid. The iPhone is already pretty valuable to theives. How hard could brute forcing your way in possibly be? Most people only use a 4 digit PIN, so at worst there's 10K possibilities. But most people either used a date (366 possibilities), or a 4 digit year between 1940 and 2020 (another 80 possibilities), or the same digit 4 times (10 possibilities), a 2 digit number repeated (100 possibilities), or included an easily guessable set of 3 digits in a row + a random (not really, but we'll pretend it's random) digit, giving another 12 * 10 = 120 possibilities, for fewer than 700 codes that were realistically used.

Even if you can't unlock the phone, how hard would it be to just take it apart and sell it for parts on the black market?

Then there's the fact that it's not like people are rushing to steal MTA cards. I'd guess the value of stealing an iPhone was already somewhere around $100-200, and by making it equivalent to stealing an MTA card, it's now worth about $10 more to thieves. An increase in value of, at most, 10% - probably closer to 5%.
 

tennisproha

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2011
1,229
691
Texas
Anyone know the techno stuff behind how it still works with a dead battery? That’s pretty cool!

(I know a dead battery still holds some charge, but want the details).
 

newyorksole

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2008
3,807
3,842
New York.
I see you missed the point in your haste to be righteous. The point is regardless of whether I use the feature or not my phone becomes attractive to steal because I might have this feature on. If it doesn’t work for this because I had it off, they throw it away because otherwise it is worthless.

As to other comments that this is just like contactless cards, the difference is this is my phone not a piece of plastic. Much more to lose.

And lastly, I think Apple should release a security whitepaper (whatever they are able to publicly reveal) for this as they did for Apple Pay explaining their protections that prevent spoofing of transit terminals in order to fraudulently charged against phones that have this on. I think one important point, don’t enable a Express Pay with a full fledged credit or debit card. Use something with much less charge potential if possible.
I didn’t miss the point at all. People have been stealing iPhones for years and will continue to do so not because this “Express Transit Mode”, but because they turn a nice profit. You’re telling me this feature (which very few people know about in the grand scheme) will make phone thefts occur more? Nah.

I really don’t see your cause for alarm at all.
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oh, but you don't get it! the thief won't know that they aren't using the transit feature and will steal the phone regardless!! ;)
Lolol yeah just as phones were stolen before this and will continue to be stolen after.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,318
5,576
I'm a rolling stone.
Don't get the whole concept of this.
We have a transit card here, accepted by all transit forms and it's valid in the whole country, monthly subs are available, 100.000s use these subs, better than paying for a single trip with Apple's Express Transit mode.
Now only if the card was available through the built in NFC chip in iPhones.
 
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Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,182
512
Cascadia
I've been using this in Portland for quite a while (since Portland became the first market to launch this.) It's great. I don't use transit every day, but when I do, just "tap watch at the reader and go" is great. No need to dig anything out of my pocket, no need to go through a "double click and wait for approval", just tap - BEEP - go.

It *ONLY* does the "no authentication" for transit. Any other credit card reader requires the normal double click and unlock activation. And Portland's transit system has a "two fares per day maximum" system, once you've tapped twice ($2.50 per tap,) the rest of the day is free. So worst case if someone steals your phone, they drain your transit balance of $5.00 a day - assuming you don't immediately lock out your phone.
 

konqerror

macrumors 68000
Dec 31, 2013
1,583
2,569
Anyone know the techno stuff behind how it still works with a dead battery? That’s pretty cool!

(I know a dead battery still holds some charge, but want the details).
It's not a dead battery. What happens is when the battery drops below a certain small percentage, the phone or watch preemptively shuts down everything except the parts necessary for NFC functions. The remaining battery gives you 5 more hours of typical card use, as Apple claims. If it's really dead, then it won't work.
 

jelockwood

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2015
38
16
Yep, 'traditional' Apple Pay users often cause a big delay in the flow through London Underground. I have therefore kept using my Oyster card until TFL finally enabled this new Apple Pay transit feature.

It should be noted this is good timing, TFL have recently doubled the minimum balance amount at which they automatically top-up your Oyster card. This results in effectively you having at least a permanent £20 credit balance on your Oyster card on which TFL then pocket the interest. With millions of users this amounts to hundreds of millions of pounds on which TFL have/are earning interest on. (Previously the top-up level was £10.)

Once I am confident this is working reliably I will then close my Oyster card and get the balance refunded to me. I suggest others do this as well.

PS. It's a shame you never could add your Oyster card to Apple Wallet, I believe one of the Japanese equivalents could be added.
 
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