My understanding is that it is possible to use the iPhone for payments on 'the underground' in London as a replacement for the Oyster card. Also that the NFC chip is used in this.

The potential exists to use this system in other Smart Card transport systems in Singapore and Sydney.

My question is: Does Apple have to provide authorization for the iPhone NFC to be used as a transport Smart Card?

  • When you use it on the tube in London, you're not actually 'replacing the Oyster card' so much as 'using your bank card via ApplePay instead' - same as you'd pay for a round of drinks at the bar, etc. You need to first ring your bank to make them aware you're going to be setting your card up as an ApplePay source. One note… as ApplePay needs a good connection to authorise the payment, some barriers leave people standing there looking a mixture of irritated & embarrassed for 30 seconds or so before it connects & lets them through;) It's simpler to just use your bank card.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


Apple does not allow developers to interact with the internal NFC chip at this moment.

Currently the only extendable Apple SDK for this type of system is Wallet (formerly PassBook). If your local transport station has an option to scan barcodes you can use third party tools to add your transportation pass barcode to Wallet.

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