Express Transit Cards in iOS 12.3

That’s by design. It takes literal seconds to authenticate with Face ID, with just a glance. Double press the button, glance at the screen, ready. Simples.

On older devices, double press the home button while the device is locked to bring up the Apple Pay authentication screen.

Loads of people are still forced to use Oyster, though. I do hope TfL will merge travelcards and contactless cards, and allow discounts to be loaded on contactless cards/accounts eventually. I still use my Oyster card because of the railcard discount I have loaded onto it.


Anyway, I swear I have seen often these days people in front of me just tapping with the iphone with no double clicking or whatsoever, as if they had an oyster.
Btw, strange enough, I don’t need to insert the pincode on the bus. Just simple tapping.
At this point, I am more and more confused…

If you rest your finger on the fingerprint sensor. Your iPhone will wake up authenticate and pay all in one motion when it detects the NFC reader. There’s no need to double click before hand in a lot of cases.

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I think this is usually just people having a card in their phone case

Except that it speeds it up slightly, if you’re walking towards a reader.

That’s what I sorely missed when moving to Face ID. Resting my thumb and just letting it work was so much easier than actively initiating the payment beforehand.


Really? I find the opposite.

I always activated it beforehand with Touch ID, and it’s significantly easier to do (and quicker) with Face ID.

I don’t understand people that don’t enable it in advance at Oyster readers. They’re deliberately wasting time. It annoys me.


Yeah same - it’s fairly quick to get FaceID authenticated ready for the oyster reader.

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With Touch ID it’s not necessary to activate Apple Pay or even wake up your phone. As long as your finger or thumb is on the Touch ID sensor when you place your phone it’ll process instantly as soon as it’s within range of the reader.

This isn’t possible with Face ID as you have to intentionally get it ready before it’ll work unless you’re in countries with Express Transit.

As long as your thumb’s in the right position.

And you’re not wearing gloves.

It does take an extra moment if you don’t do it in advance though, as others have mentioned. It’s just a brief pause, but its definitely noticeable at rush hour.

You can double tap your power button and look at your screen up to 30 seconds before getting to the gate, you don’t have to do it as you’re right there, so you can prepare it even in the queue.


It isn’t instant. It takes noticable seconds to trigger the authentication process, and then another noticeable second to authenticate, and then another second for the transaction to process.

That’s 3-5 seconds. If you pre-auth Apple Pay whilst on the escalator or in the queue, that’s reduced to 1 second. When there’s a queue of tens or hundreds of people waiting to leave a station, those seconds add up.

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Ah, interesting. I never really had it ready so I guess I was one of the ones causing a slight delay and annoying everyone else behind me.

I’m living abroad now and use Express Transit multiple times a day and it really is instant so it’ll be a great additional once TfL get on board.



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That article is from the end of May, and claimed that it was coming ‘in the coming months’… it is now the middle of November. That’s 5.5 months…

Now, I’m not sure how the unmarshal ‘coming months’ into an actual number of months, but I would’ve imagined it be around 5 or 6. Unfortunately, it would seem that whomever came up with that number was either mistaken, lying or overoptimistic.

I’d imagine we’ll probably be seing it around March. Though that’s a complete guess based on absolutely nothing.

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Apple and TfL might have tighter integrations up their sleeve.

The way it works abroad with hybrid online/offline cards (like Oyster) is that it gives you detailed journey information along with station names, charges, discounts etc. It all shows up in the Wallet app and works extremely well. They could even have digital Oyster cards - perhaps.

I’m hoping it’s not taking all this time just for TfL to give the card readers a unique signature so iPhones realise it’s a TfL reader.

That sounds like what Google pay did. It’d be a welcome addition (as would digital Oyster cards, again, those railcard discounts do add up…), and would also explain any delay. TfLs systems are probably looking a bit outdated nowadays.

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TfL did DM me this month:

We are having positive discussions with Apple about enabling express transit on Apple devices on the TfL network. More information about timing and plans will be available at a future date.