Apple is working to streamline the Apple Pay Transit process for users, a new report suggests. Citing evidence found in the iOS 12.3 code, the report explains that Apple is working and is expanding the availability of the “Express Transit” feature of Apple Pay to new types of cards.
Tap Down Under explains that currently, Express Transit is limited to “stored value cards,” such as Suica. This is a card in which you keep a certain amount of money on the card and load it with funds when it is finished. This type of card is commonly used in transit passes, making it compatible with Express Transit within Apple Pay.
Apple Pay Express Transit will support new types of cards
The code found in iOS 12.3, however, suggests that Apple Pay users will soon be able to use EMV cards with Apple Pay Express Transit, which consists of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards. This would mean that you could set up a default transport card for your existing Apple Pay cards and be able to use that card with Apple Pay Express Transit.
You can set a default transport card
You could also distinguish what type of terminal your phone is touching, and if it is a non-transit terminal, you will be asked to authenticate as you would in a normal Apple Pay purchase.
The new channels discovered in the pass.json files of the Apple Pay card files mention the new options of ‘Traffic network identifiers’, as well as the new options of passUpgrades / open loop, which would offer an equivalent solution for Apple Pay customers.
You could configure your preferred EMV card (again, Visa, Mastercard or American Express) to use in ‘Express Transit’: it is not necessary to authenticate, just touch your iPhone or Look in an Opal reader.
This is in line with Apple’s plans to expand Apple Pay Transit to the MTA network in New York City this summer, as MTA is compatible with the EMV card platform for contactless payments.
iOS 12.3 gives clues to the evolution of Apple Pay
Apple Pay Express Transit allows users to quickly use their iPhone or Apple Watch to authenticate themselves in contactless terminals, without having to authenticate via Face ID or Touch, or even unlock their phone.
When using EMV cards in Apple Pay for Express Transit, users would not have to pre-load funds or convert funds into transit fees. This theoretically will greatly speed up the process.
The details here are still scarce, but nevertheless, it is a good sign to see Apple working to expand the transit capabilities of Apple Pay to as many users and areas as possible.