Better Apple Pay Experience for Londoners, in underground! Finally!
London’s transport network (TfL) confirmed it’s working closely with Apple to enable a new Apple Pay Express Transit feature.
Apple first introduced Express Transit in iOS 12.3 earlier this month, allowing Apple Pay users to simply hold their devices at transit terminals without having to authenticate via Touch ID or Face ID. It’s a very useful feature that speeds up entry into subway or train stations, and it’s extremely fast compared to having to authenticate. It also works on an Apple Watch, without the need to double tap the side button.
While Express Transit works for Suica cards in Japan, TriMet in Portland, New York’s MTA (starting tomorrow), and Chinese transit cards in both Beijing and Shanghai, London is missing on the list for now.
“We are having positive discussions with Apple about enabling express transit on Apple devices on the TfL network,”
says a TfL spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.
“More information about timing and plans will be available at a future date.”
This statement could be taken as a mere promise that it might happen in the future, but TfL is being even clearer on its Twitter account, noting that the company is
“working closely with Apple to allow the benefits of this update to be introduced on London’s transport network in the coming months.”
Once the Express Transit feature is enabled for London, you’ll be able to select a card on your Apple Watch or iPhone that is specifically enabled to tap and go on Oyster terminals. It won’t require any authentication via Face ID or Touch ID, but this will only work on supported public transport readers so the security implications should be fairly low. Here’s how fast it is in Japan:
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