TfL final amount Google Pay

Hi all :wave:t2:

I was just wondering if there was any particular reason why Google Pay doesn’t receive the final travel charge amount for Monzo but does with NatWest? :thinking:

MonzoTfLCharge-23rdFeb19 NatWestTfLCharge-2ndNov18


How are there such detailed breakdown’s of tfl charges and station location on Android? Any plans to bring this to iOS?

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It’s the Google Pay app and not Monzo.


It does the full breakdown on iOS in other countries that have payment by Apple Pay - strange it doesn’t do the same in London because it knows where you’re tapping in/out

That’s a question for Apple…


I’ve always noticed that Monzos mobile payments implementation seems half-baked. The fact that most Apple Pay transactions never move from the pending state is another issue I’ve noticed, as well as the google pay tfl transactions never being fully updated.

It’s a bit of a shame really, I would’ve thought that Monzo would want to implement all possible features for their mobile payments system.

Maybe they’re not aware that there is an issue?


Or for Tfl… I’ve had that two years ago on the Shanghai Metro with iOS/Wallet (yes you can put Shanghai’s ‘Oyster’ card to your wallet and use it as a sort of Apple Pay card) :slight_smile:

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I was saying about this before in another thread, seems TfL is really missing the mark on a lot of the available features they could implement for speed and convenience.

This is largely because Suica (Japan) and Octopus (China) cards are a type known as stored value, where the entire transaction log and amount are stored on the card, rather than using a network or backend service. Oyster uses a hybrid method where contactless uses an entirely backend service-driven calculation. :slightly_smiling_face:

For those interested, Suica and Octopus are based on Sony’s FeliCa NFC technology.

As for why the final amount isn’t being shown with Monzo on TfL with Google Pay, I’m not too sure on this one but looking at the screenshots, it may be because TfL does not tend to finalise weekend travel amounts until the next Monday/Tuesday.

Google Pay gets their breakdown of TfL station names by effectively cross-referencing terminal IDs transmitted when you tap your device against the reader with your current location. With enough data points, they can near-perfectly match each tap/reader ID to a station name.


This isn’t quite right… in China they must be run on a backend service as they can be topped up remotely using an app and you can view the entire journey history through the app too. It even says within Apple Wallet ‘Getting updates…’ whenever a card in Apple Wallet is topped up or another action is performed. The physical cards also act in the same way, you can link card numbers in the app to view journeys and top up among various other things.

Octopus cards are also specific to Hong Kong only, the rest of China has various other options such as third party QR payment at the barriers, Apple Wallet (NFC) and the likes. Octopus can’t be used with Apple Pay I imagine because of the FeliCa not being supported in iPhones from outside Japan, however multiple subway systems in the rest of China support Apple Wallet just fine with standard NFC.

That is incorrect, only iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 were Japan specific, since then all iPhones and watches support FeLiCa globally.

Also this is the Shanghai Card:

And in action:

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I didn’t know that, then it’s even more of a mystery why Octopus isn’t supported in Apple Pay. They have Samsung Pay supported.

I mean I would have payed any kind of ridiculous surcharge fees last year if I could just use Seoul’s Tmoney with Apple Wallet and top it up digitally without the need to first find cash (and pay surcharge for that as I am using UK card) and then find a store to top it up, but oh well… (sorry for the off-topic rant, but seriously!)

Is that similar to Octopus? It was beyond convenient in Hong Kong because basically everywhere accept the transport card for instant payment. It was faster and easier than using a contactless debit/credit card.

Yes, it is - you can pay for your food in convenience stores with it (pretty much wherever you can top up you can pay with it). But I don’t think you can use it in like clothes shopping stores and such. Transportation and chain mini-markets for sure.

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I wish Oyster had something similar - everything is better somewhere else :joy:

They do run a backend service but the transactions happens between the card and the terminal. For Suica top ups at least, this is done by transferring messages between JR East’s service and the Secure Element in your device with the device acting as a sort of terminal (this analogy is starting to break down a bit, I know…). The backend exists and regularly syncs but is not the source of truth at the point of the transaction.

EDIT: Slide 28 of this presentation has some diagrams that help explain. The method on the right is close to what Apple is doing by tunneling communication with the application on the Secure Element out to an external server for top-ups, etc. Almost all gates and most terminals have the application key in them and therefore, the ability to make local, offline transactions.

I think Citymapper pass will provide some interesting route data and metrics. I can’t wait to nerd out over my travel data god that sounds sad :joy:

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I still have one from the 25th January that doesn’t show the final amount in Google Pay, only the Monzo app.

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