Apple hoping to bring Apple Pay to more transit systems - report

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in iPhone
Apple is aiming at getting Apple Pay into more public transit systems, a report suggested on Tuesday, taking advantage of a number of them adding mobile device payments.









Japanese railway JR East is due to launch Apple Pay later this month through its Suica payment system, which Apple has upgraded the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 to support, Bloomberg noted. Models sold in Japan are equipped with FeliCa-compatible NFC chips, which have long allowed mobile payments on other devices in the country.



Earlier in October, New York commuters got the ability to use Apple Pay with the MTA eTix app. While not as convenient as Suica, which can be swiped at turnstiles, users can still buy scannable e-tickets and passes without having to manually enter their card information.



Until recently, the biggest backer of Apple Pay in the transit sector was Transport for London, which operates the London Underground and other systems in the British capital. Like JR East, people using Apple Pay with TfL don't have to buy a separate ticket or pass first.



Apple's interest in the field likely stems from the sheer volume of transactions involved. JR East alone is thought to handle over 17 million passengers per day, and if even a small portion plan to use iPhones or Apple Watches, it could mean many millions of Apple Pay transactions per week, each of them generating the company a small fee.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 257member
    Maybe doesn't sound as exciting as deliveries by drones, internet by balloons etc etc. But public transportation is huge, and will be. So again (as often with Apple) a bit less striking activity, but a structural, longterm healthy business!
    badmonklostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,227member
    So that I am prepared with options should the need arrive, I made an uber account on their app. I was pleased when I discovered I didn't need to give them a credit card number - I can select Apple Pay in the app. I really like that there is one less company with my cc number.

    Safeway, OTOH, put in a new terminal system to support the stupid chip/signature system. I asked "does this take Apple Pay or NFC payments?" Blank stare. While clerks might not be the most tech savvy, it is disappointing that their managers/ corporate central didn't even tell them about system they might be asked about. 
    stanthemanDeelronlostkiwilolliver
  • Reply 3 of 18
    The transit systems should welcome ApplePay, because once it is in use Siri suggestions will begin mentioning services and activities connected to the transit system. That added information will increase ridership.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    More stores, more stores, more stores. Fast food and grocery stores are pretty well represented, but big box stores are not. Total Wine, Costco, Home Depot, etc.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 580member
    Funnily enough, the person that brought the Oyster Card, the predecessor to Contactless payments, which in turn was the predecessor to Apple Pay on the London tube, was the guy that used to run the NY Subway. Makes you wonder what political forces resist a truly effective system there.

    On another note, I always hear comments here about US clerks giving blank stares when asked about contactless payments or PIN & Chip (signature). Why is that, where do these people live, what lack interest do they have in the world around them? I have never ever, not in the dingiest, smallest, dirtiest newsagent in the most faraway little town in England encountered anyone who did not know what contactless was (even if they don't accept it).


    mwhitecmflolliver
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Hoping it comes to Chicagoland's Metra soon...

    https://metrarail.com
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Please bring this to the Paris Metro ! It is a nightmare traveling in Europe with the ridiculous chip and sign US credit cards.

  • Reply 8 of 18
    cmfcmf Posts: 60member
    sflagel said:
    Funnily enough, the person that brought the Oyster Card, the predecessor to Contactless payments, which in turn was the predecessor to Apple Pay on the London tube, was the guy that used to run the NY Subway. Makes you wonder what political forces resist a truly effective system there.

    On another note, I always hear comments here about US clerks giving blank stares when asked about contactless payments or PIN & Chip (signature). Why is that, where do these people live, what lack interest do they have in the world around them? I have never ever, not in the dingiest, smallest, dirtiest newsagent in the most faraway little town in England encountered anyone who did not know what contactless was (even if they don't accept it).


    I think it was these guys - and yes, they worked on Oyster for TfL - Although the concept of tapping in/out still baffles me. On MTA, you usally only pay again for transfers to a different line or mode of transport.

    Until a major mass transit system gets on board with fare collection, we won't really know how Apple Pay holds up in a high volume transaction environment. Sure, credit cards and banks have similar custom volume, but processing 5.5 million transactions over a 24 hour period is definitely valuable data.

    I still have concerns about security - making sure my phone doesn't get snatched by some idiot trying to scam people, but I would imagine an NFC enabled fallback would be available if you didn't have a phone or didn't want to use one.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 580member
    cmf said:

    Although the concept of tapping in/out still baffles me. On MTA, you usally only pay again for transfers to a different line or mode of transport.


    If you use the same credit card throughout the week or month, TfL gives you the best rate. If charging you single trips is cheapest for you, they will do that; if charging you a weekly travel card is cheapest, you only pay the weekly travel card cost. it is, unusual for Britain, quite fair.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,390member
    sflagel said:
    Funnily enough, the person that brought the Oyster Card, the predecessor to Contactless payments, which in turn was the predecessor to Apple Pay on the London tube, was the guy that used to run the NY Subway. Makes you wonder what political forces resist a truly effective system there.

    On another note, I always hear comments here about US clerks giving blank stares when asked about contactless payments or PIN & Chip (signature). Why is that, where do these people live, what lack interest do they have in the world around them? I have never ever, not in the dingiest, smallest, dirtiest newsagent in the most faraway little town in England encountered anyone who did not know what contactless was (even if they don't accept it).


    The MTA in NYC is going to replace the current mag card system in a few years.   With over 700 subway stations and thousands of bus stops, it's a massive undertaking.  Whether or not they'll support Apple Pay, I have no idea, but IMO, Apple Pay as it currently operates would slow people down on the NYC subway.    It takes longer to use your finger to get past the password screen, open Wallet if it doesn't open automatically, make sure you're using the correct credit or debit card and then use your finger to accept the charge, than it does to swipe the current card, even though if you swipe at too fast or too slow a speed or if the card is dirty, it doesn't work.    Someone who couldn't manage this quickly might be in danger of severe physical harm by the impatient New Yorkers waiting behind them (unless Apple Pay was only accepted at a separate exclusive turnstile).  

    For Apple Pay to work on the NYC transit system (and crowded systems like it), it has to work more like automated toll collection works - the user should have to do nothing other than holding their phone near a receiver.   In NYC, they've now set up machines at busy bus stops so that you buy a ticket before boarding the bus because swiping the card inside the bus even takes too much time.  (Strange because back in the 1950s-60s, the drivers even made change for you.)   The MTA claims that 4.3 million people ride the subway each day - that's more than the total population of most mid-sized cities.

    And NYC is a one-fare system - all fares are the same regardless of distance.  How does Apple Pay work in systems like London and Washington, D.C. where the fares vary based upon distance?   The last time I was in London, there was no Apple Pay as yet.   Seems to me you'd still have to have a ticket, so you could use Apple Pay at a machine instead of a credit/debit card to buy a ticket, but you couldn't actually use it at a turnstile.     

    The other disadvantage of using Apple Pay for daily mass transit is that each use would presumably show up as a separate line item on a billing statement.   
  • Reply 11 of 18
    London and its Oyster Cards use Tap In/Tap out only on the Tube and Overground services. Busses are Tap in only.
    I've not seen any slowing down at the gates with Oyster Cards or NFC enabled phones (in iPhones) on the Underground. The Gate won't open if the card isn't read.
    The Flat fare NYC - Metro would not be a problem because it works on London busses already.

    To be honest, any metro system considering going to a contactless system should come and spend some time in London. Given the millions of people who use it every day and that it works AND gives you the best price for the travel you do in any one period, it should be the benchmark for other mass transit systems.

    As for Paris, they will do their own thing just because they can and no one in Government will complain. As the rest of france (in the main) would rather Paris be 'Nuked', they will just shrug their shoulders and get on with life. As for Apple Pay on the Paris Metro? Are you having a laugh? It wasn't invented in Le Belle France so it is a non starter.
    (I was in Paris last week.)
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 18
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 580member
    zoetmb said:
    sflagel said:
    Funnily enough, the person that brought the Oyster Card, the predecessor to Contactless payments, which in turn was the predecessor to Apple Pay on the London tube, was the guy that used to run the NY Subway. Makes you wonder what political forces resist a truly effective system there.

    On another note, I always hear comments here about US clerks giving blank stares when asked about contactless payments or PIN & Chip (signature). Why is that, where do these people live, what lack interest do they have in the world around them? I have never ever, not in the dingiest, smallest, dirtiest newsagent in the most faraway little town in England encountered anyone who did not know what contactless was (even if they don't accept it).


    The MTA in NYC is going to replace the current mag card system in a few years.   With over 700 subway stations and thousands of bus stops, it's a massive undertaking.  Whether or not they'll support Apple Pay, I have no idea, but IMO, Apple Pay as it currently operates would slow people down on the NYC subway.    It takes longer to use your finger to get past the password screen, open Wallet if it doesn't open automatically, make sure you're using the correct credit or debit card and then use your finger to accept the charge, than it does to swipe the current card, even though if you swipe at too fast or too slow a speed or if the card is dirty, it doesn't work.    Someone who couldn't manage this quickly might be in danger of severe physical harm by the impatient New Yorkers waiting behind them (unless Apple Pay was only accepted at a separate exclusive turnstile).  

    For Apple Pay to work on the NYC transit system (and crowded systems like it), it has to work more like automated toll collection works - the user should have to do nothing other than holding their phone near a receiver.   In NYC, they've now set up machines at busy bus stops so that you buy a ticket before boarding the bus because swiping the card inside the bus even takes too much time.  (Strange because back in the 1950s-60s, the drivers even made change for you.)   The MTA claims that 4.3 million people ride the subway each day - that's more than the total population of most mid-sized cities.

    And NYC is a one-fare system - all fares are the same regardless of distance.  How does Apple Pay work in systems like London and Washington, D.C. where the fares vary based upon distance?   The last time I was in London, there was no Apple Pay as yet.   Seems to me you'd still have to have a ticket, so you could use Apple Pay at a machine instead of a credit/debit card to buy a ticket, but you couldn't actually use it at a turnstile.     

    The other disadvantage of using Apple Pay for daily mass transit is that each use would presumably show up as a separate line item on a billing statement.   
    The whole thing is really miraculous, especially given that this is the tube (where until a few years ago no trains had air conditioning and holding on during travel gave you a work-out) in London (where really nothing works properly ever). But somehow, the implementation of first Oyster, then Contactless, and then Apple Pay was flawless, quick, and did not cause weeks of strikes. It seemed to me that from announcement to implementation we waited, like, a week. It was astonishing.

    Oyster is a pre-paid NFC-type card that you pre-load with money, you then tap the card at the turnstiles when going to the train and you tap again when leaving the station. Your Oyster was deducted an amount depending on how far you traveled. You could also load a weekly or monthly ticket for unlimited travel, in which case tapping in and out just checks whether you are within the zones you paid for.

    Then they implemented Contactless, which meant you no longer needed to pre-load an Oyster Card, but just tapped in and out using your bog standard Contactless Credit Card. The system still worked the same except it debits your credit card: every time you tap out, the system checks how far you traveled and charge your credit card the correct amount. Most incredibly, if you reach the amount that a weekly unlimited card would have cost, they stop charging you. Give how usually every private company, council and organisation tries to rip you off as much as they can here, I still can't believe it.

    Adding Apple Pay, which works the same as Contactless, was then no problem at all, it just worked. I agree that paying with a phone is time consuming (not to mention that it looks silly), certainly longer than just tapping your credit card, but paying with Apple Pay on Apple Watch is very fast and convenient (still looks silly, though).
  • Reply 13 of 18
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Translink (Vancouver BC) has an identical system to Transport for London. I'd love to see this rolled out here, but right now the NFC payment cards other than the transit card aren't accepted.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    zoetmb said:
    ... Apple Pay as it currently operates would slow people down on the NYC subway.  
    Yes, that's my fear.

    I love ApplePay, and I've worked in the Transportation industry for 30 years.  The hoards of people surge quickly through a transit turnstile, and the current ticket systems respond quickly enough to support that.  ApplePay -- while fast enough when buying from a cashier -- isn't nearly as fast as a typical subway turnstile.  I don't want ApplePay to become the brunt of frustration from other travellers: "I'm stuck behind some loser using that slow ApplePay system!"

    This is not a complaint.  I want ApplePay to continue being successful, so I hope that any expansion by Apple into the world of transit meets the speeds that people have come to expect in those settings.
  • Reply 15 of 18
      ApplePay -- while fast enough when buying from a cashier -- isn't nearly as fast as a typical subway turnstile.  I don't want ApplePay to become the brunt of frustration from other travellers: "I'm stuck behind some loser using that slow ApplePay system!"


    I beg to differ. I've been travelling into London during the rush hour and expereinced 'The Drain' i.e. the Waterllo and City Line. This has queues of people waiting to get onto the platforms at peak times going to Bank. No noticeable delays due to Apple Pay. The same goes for getting past the barriers at busy stations like Bank, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus. The extra time to auth an Apple Pay over a normal NFC is probably around 50mSecs. Not a big deal.
    I do know that the TfL (transport for London) ticketing infrastructure underwent a huge upgrade before anything apart from Oyster Cards was accepted. I know this because I helped draft one of the responses to the ITT.
    If a city tried to just bold this onto their existing system then it will fail. London already knew that their existing system was bursting at the seams so upgraded the network before introducing NFC and ApplePay.

  • Reply 16 of 18
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,349member
    zoetmb said:
    How does Apple Pay work in systems like London and Washington, D.C. where the fares vary based upon distance?   The last time I was in London, there was no Apple Pay as yet.   Seems to me you'd still have to have a ticket, so you could use Apple Pay at a machine instead of a credit/debit card to buy a ticket, but you couldn't actually use it at a turnstile.     

    The other disadvantage of using Apple Pay for daily mass transit is that each use would presumably show up as a separate line item on a billing statement.   
    You tag on and tag off at the points of embarkation and disembarkation (at the start and end of your travel). This method has been used for decades by BART with magnetic strip cards. I'm sure many other transit systems all over the planet have had similar fare payment systems over the past few decades.

    Same procedure with Clipper Card usage on Caltrain (SF Bay Area commuter rail). Tagging on deducts the maximum fare from your starting point. When you disembark, you tag off which refunds you any difference should you not travel the maximum distance.

    These sort of transit passes are usually loaded with credit (cash value); individual rides are deducted from this balance. When the remaining available balance drops below a certain threshold, you'd have to add more money (many of these systems allow for auto top-up with a registered credit card). You wouldn't get individual credit card charges for each ride.

    Furthermore, many transit systems have monthly passes. You'd subscribe for a monthly pass for whatever zones you typically travel in so you only pay once a month for the monthly pass. If a given trip takes you out of your normal travel zone, you'd purchase a zone extension for that trip. That would show up as a separate charge of course.

    For Apple Pay, the transit pass would presumably be loaded as a payment method (like a credit or debit card) that is only valid for those transit operators. 

    As for payment speed in turnstiles, these NFC systems are comparable in speed to inserting a magnetic paper ticket into a slot (like BART).

    Note that Japan has used NFC payment cards in their subway and train systems for a long time. Starting in 2005, many Japanese cellphones gained the NFC chip so people could just swipe their cellphones for public transit payment (just Google "osaifu keitai", literally "wallet phone"). They were also buying groceries, movie tickets, etc. by swiping their cellphones over NFC readers. In 2005. That's right: over a decade ago.

    This is a proven payment system in the busiest public transit network on the planet.

    None of this is new technology or a revolutionary change to the transit system.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 17 of 18
     I beg to differ. ... No noticeable delays due to Apple Pay. ...

    Thanks, that's good to hear.  I appreciate you sharing those details.

    I hope that Transit providers in the US have similar success.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    sflagel said:
    ...And NYC is a one-fare system - all fares are the same regardless of distance.  How does Apple Pay work in systems like London and Washington, D.C. where the fares vary based upon distance?   The last time I was in London, there was no Apple Pay as yet.   Seems to me you'd still have to have a ticket, so you could use Apple Pay at a machine instead of a credit/debit card to buy a ticket, but you couldn't actually use it at a turnstile.     


    The other disadvantage of using Apple Pay for daily mass transit is that each use would presumably show up as a separate line item on a billing statement.   
    Apple pay + Ventra user here in Chicago.

    Option one: Pay-per-ride. I am able to pay-per-ride just by tapping my Apple Watch or iPhone at the turnstiles, however this does not allow for transfer fares. A temporary authorization of $5 shows up on the associated bank account, which eventually settles in the actual fare amount over a period of several days.

    Option two: Use a vending machine. if I can link my Watch or iPhone to a temporary account using a Ventra vending machine. I tap my device on the vending machine reader to establish a temporary account, then use a credit/debit card or cash to load a pass or transit value. The pass or stored transit value is then used by default when I tap my device at the turnstile. The pass or value remains so long as I don't restore my device or remove the card I used to create the temporary account from ApplePay.

    Regarding distance based fares: The old systems performed fare calculations and transactions between card and turnstile directly. Modern systems utilize a wider network that know your transit activity using your registered device, in or out, and charge your account on the back end.
    edited October 2016
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