Payments Innovation

Apple Rolls Out Express Transit Payments For London Commuters

Transport for London (TfL) riders who use Apple Pay now have access to a new tool that will enable them to bypass facial or fingerprint scanning, The Verge reported on Monday (Dec. 2).

With Apple Pay Express Transit payment mode, TfL users can seamlessly travel without needing to authenticate their device using Face ID or Touch ID. They simply choose a default card within Apple Pay. Users don’t even need to wake up or unlock their devices – they can simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch, making it much quicker to board the Underground network, buses, trains and trams.

Express Transit also works for New York’s MTA, the TriMet in Portland, Suica cards in Japan and Chinese transit cards in Shanghai and Beijing.

The feature also lets commuters continue using transit options even if a device’s battery life is running low. It works for up to five hours after the red Power Reserve icon appears on a device.

“Apple express pay is available anywhere served by pay-as-you-go with contactless in London (including national rail stations in London),” a TfL spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “So if there is a yellow reader there, it should work.”

Apple said it never tracks a user’s journey, and if someone loses their device, Apple Pay can be locked remotely.

Apple Pay Express Transit can be used with iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus or later, as well as Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 or later. Users must also have the latest version of iOS and watchOS, an Apple ID signed into iCloud and a payment card in Wallet designated for transit.

The May rollout of Apple Pay Express Transit in New York City is part of the MTA’s One Metro New York initiative, which has been testing new payment methods for fares. The MTA also started accepting Google Pay in May.

A public pilot was launched at select subway stations and on all Staten Island MTA buses. Through 2020, the rollout will continue to all subway stations, bus routes and Staten Island Railway locations.

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