Tapping on Birmingham Buses

Anyone else got problems with tapping on West Midland Buses? I live in Brum and you tap your card to pay for travel. There is no option for PIN. With my Monzo card it just does not work about 75% of the time but is fine when tapping in shops and restaurants. I froze it and unfroze it to see if that helps, but it didn’t. Anyone else got this problem? Is it my card or Monzo of the machines on the buses? Annoying.

You tried it on Google Pay or Apple Pay

It’s likely a problem with the terminals though at a guess, especially when it works everywhere else.

What errors does the terminal say, what happens in app?

No google or apply pay. Using the card only.

The terminal sits there and does nothing. App says nothing, A couple of times the terminal has said ‘Present only one card at once’ and then gone on to not take payment. I take the card out of my wallet to do it so it is not that.

I’m thinking their terminals could be rubbish. They let me on the bus for free but it’s kind of annoying.

Sounds like rubbish terminals, maybe experiment with different angles/sides of the card against different parts of the reader.

Might be worth ordering a new card in case yours is a bit damaged ,but otherwise enjoy the free rides.



With the trying different sides and moving the card around on the terminal, I could make a pizza base with the same effort and movements.


Not a hot coral one though …

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Can’t comment on the WM buses but my card works fine on the metro.

As for the pin comment. You don’t need a pin for the buses. You just tap and go like any other contactless machine.

You haven’t reached your contactless limit have you?

After so much offline or online payments you need to do a chip and pin transaction somewhere

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Didn’t work on two buses today but I was able to use it in a restaurant without entering a pin.

That seems a bit of a strange system for transport if that was the case. Is it?

Transport can be offline, there’s separate offline and online limits. Make a chip and pin payment and see if it works on the bus after

Got to be worth a try.

If that doesn’t work you could try ordering a new card. I had a card that worked everywhere except 1 local shop. Replaced it and it’s been fine since


Went up to Villa for Brentford away a few weeks back and wanted to get the bus back to the city, I tried Amex via Google Pay - declined. Monzo via Google Pay - declined. Amex physical card - declined. Monzo (Premium) physical card worked.

My mate tried to get on using his hot coral card and it wouldn’t work. I also tried to pay for him using my MBNA MasterCard and that was declined too.

So yeah, I think it’s a mix of dodgy terminals and possibly Monzo acceptance.

What company is it, First and Yorkshire Tiger work fine in these parts. Is it an independent or a big national company.

The bus company is likely to be NX West Midlands (NX being National Express)

I don’t think they are now. Although there are still NX buses out there. The West Midlands Authority or something like that have taken over.

This includes West Midlands Bus, Tram, Trains all run by this West Midlands Authority. They’re basically trying to copy London’s TFL but in the West Midlands, and instead of an Oyster Card we have the swift card.

Don’t really know much about it. Other than the tram. I haven’t caught public transport for years.


It’s called West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and it runs the TFWM (Transport for West Midlands) so yes we are pretty much copying off TFL.

As of a few weeks ago it’s still billed as National Express, with all the right enriched merchant data of course.

Oh ok then. Not sure.

Maybe TFWM is the organisation that looks over the operators, and sets the routes, prices etc and the operators now operate under TFWM. It’s just strange some buses are branded NX and others are branded TFWM

I’ve read online TFL sets the prices and routes etc for all the bus operators. So one operator can’t charge more/less to its competitors. So maybe this is what TFWM do.

But surely if they were all under the eye of TFWM, the payment systems were all the same?