Apple Pay's Tap-and-Go Express Transit Mode Now Live in London, Advertised on MetroCards in NYC

Last week, MacRumors reported that Apple Pay's Express Transit mode was being tested at some London Underground stations. And now, Apple has formally announced that Express Transit mode is live across all Transport for London services, including the tube, buses, trains, and trams.

Apple has been alerting customers in the United Kingdom about this news by email, pointing them to a new page on its website with more details.

apple pay express transit london
Express Transit mode eliminates the need to authenticate your payment with Face ID or Touch ID. And you don't need to wake or unlock your device, either. Simply tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the card reader and go. You'll need an iPhone 6s and newer or an Apple Watch Series 1 or newer.

If you have an iPhone XS or newer, Express Transit mode even works for up to five hours after your iPhone shuts off and displays a red battery icon.

To set up a card for use with Express Transit mode, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Wallet & Apple Pay > Express Transit Card. Select a card and then authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.

apple pay metrocard 800x448 1
In related news, Apple has started advertising Apple Pay with Express Transit mode on some MetroCard fare cards in New York City, as shared on Reddit. The MTA added support for the feature earlier this year. Express Transit mode is also supported in Portland, Beijing, Shanghai, and parts of Japan.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Top Rated Comments

newyorksole Avatar
59 months ago

At first I liked this idea, but then I realized all the work that apple did to make the phones a worthless target for thieves is impacted by this feature. I sure hope not. Maybe the day or two someone is able to get free transit with a stolen phone before the associated card is cancelled won’t be enough to inspire thefts. But the thought of increased iPhone thefts and needing to cancel cards makes this possibly annoying.
You guys really need to start taking responsibility for your actions. If you’re so in danger all the time and so worried/paranoid then just use a flip phone.

First people complain about their spouse being able to unlock their phone using Touch ID when they sleep, then it was being able to unlock Face ID when someone is asleep and now you’re worried about Express Transit if someone steals your phone?

Stop using the features then.

“AirPods are too small, I keep losing them.” Stop buying them then.

All of these things are optional.


Just to be clear, if I enable express mode on a card will that mean the card will work without authentication on regular contactless purchases?
No this is literally only solely for TRANSIT. It will not work on anything else. Apple could do this with other companies, but for security they’re probably just testing it with transit. Makes sense.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Rules Avatar
59 months ago

Is this just for London Underground??

What about the security implications? ie, if your handset is lost/stolen it can be used without any authentication?

I don't use the Underground very often, but when I do I usually authenticate as Im walking up to the barrier, so my handset is ready before I get to it.....
Bear in mind that the maximum you can spend on your Oyster card in a day is, I think, around £10. So in the worst case that's the most you could lose - nobody would be able to use it in a shop to pay for anything.
I think the compromise is fine and certainly no worse than losing your actual oyster card or contactless credit card
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
59 months ago

Well butter my biscuits... that sounds like a nightmare for security.
No more so than contactless payment cards, and despite all the alarmist predictions when they were launched several years ago they've not become a significant security issue.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pagemakers Avatar
59 months ago


What about the security implications? ie, if your handset is lost/stolen it can be used without any authentication?
Turn the feature off if you’re not happy. It’s no different to your contactless card on the tube.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGeneo Avatar
59 months ago
Solid move, Apple Pay keeps getting better all the time
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DoctorTech Avatar
59 months ago
I live in an area that does not have mass transit but I still think this in an incredibly cool idea to speed up the payment process for those who take mass transit.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)