Last month TfL introduced Apple Pay as a new payment method for travel within London. This move may be welcomed by many, such as visitors to London from countries where contactless bank cards are not yet the norm or who do not want to get an Oyster card for a short stay.
How to Use Apple Pay
Apple Pay is available to iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch users. It works as follows:
- Register a card to the device:
- Use your device to touch in and out at the yellow Oyster pads, having opened Passbook on the iPhone or double-clicked the side button of your Apple Watch (more detail).
Snag for Passengers with Amex Cards Linked to Apple Pay
Journey history & online support are not available to passengers who have linked an American Express card to their Apple Pay account. They promise this service will be available soon.
This may cause an issue for those wishing to submit Delay Repay claims, as they cannot check the details of their journey history (so I guess they’ll just have to remember the details). TfL has, sadly, chosen not to be transparent on their Apple Pay page about exactly what technical glitch prevents this information being available to customers.
If they cannot make the journey history available to passengers, a valid question would be whether their customer services team has access to this data? Otherwise how would they be able to verify whether or not a passenger was owed a refund under the Delay Repay scheme? Whatever the situation may be, TfL has promised that passengers will be able to claim refunds for any incomplete journeys by calling their Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 … although they will charge you for the pleasure of calling them (perhaps that cost should be added to the refund)!
TfL has promised that when this service does become available, the complete journey history will be available back to when customers started using Apple Pay (so presumably the data is stored somewhere).
Reminder About Apple Watch / iPhone Batteries
The Amex card issue is not the only thing Apple Pay users need to be aware of. TfL has warned that ticket inspectors must be able to check you have paid for your journey, so you need enough battery life on your device to complete your journey. If the battery dies, you may be charged a Penalty Fare. TfL has yet to advertise any scheme to cancel/refund Penalty Fares where a passenger is able to prove afterwards that they had in fact paid for their journey.