Transport for London has revealed it is in talks with Apple to bring Apple Pay Express Transit mode to London public transport this year.
On May 16, TfL responded to an eager question on its Twitter account, confirming that it is “working closely with Apple” to introduce the time-saving feature to London’s transport network in “the coming months”.
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If you’re not familiar with Express Transit mode, it allows Apple device users to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to a transit terminal and pay for travel without stopping to authenticate the purchase with Face ID, Touch ID or double tapping the side button of their watch.
The feature makes using Apple Pay feel significantly more seamless, and could potentially trim down commuting time. The feature only works on supported public transport readers.
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Express Transit mode was first introduced earlier this month with the iOS 12.3 update, and is already available in Beijing, Shanghai, Japan, Portland and, as of June 1, New York City.
The feature would be a welcome addition for users of London’s Underground system, offering the speed of tapping an Oyster card and the convenience of Apple Pay.
You can, of course, go out and use Apple Pay on London’s transit system right now, but without Express Transit mode you will be required to stop and authenticate your purchase at the terminal either by using Face ID or Touch ID, or by typing in your password. Not exactly seamless.
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According to a TfL spokesperson, “more information about timing and plans will be available at a future date” (via The Verge).