Glitch causes some Apple Pay Express Transit users in NYC to be overcharged

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Glitch causes some Apple Pay Express Transit users to be overcharged
NYC commuters can now use Apple Pay to pay at busy Penn Station.
Photo: Gryffindor/Wikipedia CC

Some Apple Pay Express Transit users are being overcharged during travel in the New York subway. That’s because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s OMNY tap-and-go fare readers are picking up their iPhones — even when users aren’t intending to use them.

According to the New York Post, the issue has resulted in a small number of users receiving an extra $2.75 charge. Here’s how you can avoid the problem if it’s happened to use.

The newspaper says that “dozens” have reported charges being made on their iPhones, even when they are trying to pay with a regular MetroCard. MTA’s Chief Revenue Officer Al Putre has confirmed the complaints. Putre said they are working with Apple regarding, “unintended charges when the Express Transit feature of their iPhones is activated.”

“I’ve been keeping my purse far from the thing when I go through the turnstile,” said one person quoted in the article.

Another only noticed the doubled-up charge when later reviewing their bank statement. “I’ve had Transit Express enabled for a year and a half since I went to Vancouver, Canada,” they said said. “It’s never caused this problem until yesterday.”

Problems for Apple Pay Express Transit users in NYC

When customers enter the greater New York transit area, they receive a notification. This reveals that their payment card in Apple Wallet can be used for Express Transit. NYC residents are also informed about Apple Pay Express Transit when they add a payment card to Apple Wallet.

If you’ve had the problem described in this article, simply turn off the Express Transit Card feature in your iPhone Settings. You can still ride transit but you’ll have to use Face ID or Touch ID to confirm your identity.

It sounds like this may be a problem with the oversensitivity of the tap-and-go readers. Since the problem seemingly doesn’t happen elsewhere, it seems it should be tweaking a few of the OMNY readers. Still, in the meantime it’s worthwhile checking your bank statements to make sure you’ve not been overcharged.

Source: New York Post