City Red Introduces Fuss-free Contactless ‘Tap & Cap’ Payments in Southampton and Launches Express Mode for Apple Pay
- No more mental maths to work out what ticket to ask the driver for based on your travel plans: Paying with contactless means you can enjoy unlimited travel in the Southampton Zone in the knowledge you automatically get the best on-bus fare
- Bus users using Tap & Cap travel all day in the Southampton City Zone for only £3. A 50p saving versus cash or mTicket
- With Express Mode for Apple Pay customers can pay for their fare by just tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch
From tomorrow, bus users catching City Red services will benefit from fuss-free travel thanks to a new ‘Tap & Cap’ contactless payment method. City Red also brings its customers Express Mode for Apple Pay, offering an alternative, quicker and easier way to avoid paying by cash for bus journeys.
'Tap & Cap'
Tap & Cap is a new payment feature which makes paying for bus journeys extremely straightforward. Bus users who use a contactless payment method (via a contactless bank card or a contactless-enabled device) when they travel within the Southampton City Zone will always get the cheapest on-bus fare and are never charged more than the new £3 contactless Tap & Cap day fare, no matter how often they make a bus journey within the zone on a single day. This also means that contactless payment users using the bus twice or more times a day will save 50p compared to the equivalent mTicket or on-bus day fare!
What’s more, customers don’t even need to tell the driver their destination or wait for a ticket anymore; Tap & Cap automatically works out the cheapest fare and gets rid of the need to carry a paper ticket, making boarding so much quicker and hassle-free.
Marc Reddy, Managing Director at City Red, said:
We’re on a mission to make using the bus as easy and attractive to use as possible. Tap & Cap contactless payments will charge adults £2 for a single journey, and if you use the bus more often you will never pay more than the new low £3 daily fare irrespective of how many journeys you make in the Southampton City Zone. Since the pandemic started, we’ve been encouraging customers to go cash-free, and now Tap & Cap gives people even more reasons to stop using cash. Tap & Cap guarantees that customers will always get the best value fare to suit their own travel needs based on their individual travel pattern and will make life easier for our customers by making our buses more accessible than ever.
Councillor Steve Leggett, Southampton City Cabinet Member for Green City & Place said:
Comfortable buses with eco-friendly engines, coupled with up-to-date payment technology, is the way forward for Southampton. Our bus operators are focused on providing an excellent level of service while also implementing the measures needed to ensure the safety of both their staff and passengers. By facilitating quick and easy payment with a capped payment limit, “Tap & Cap” on the City Red buses will encourage more people to use the bus to travel around the city for their journey to work, for shopping and social trips, which in turn will support the city’s post COVID-19 economic recovery.
Express Mode for Apple Pay
At the same time as launching Tap & Cap, City Red will introduce a new innovation with added convenience for customers using Apple Pay. Express Mode for Apple Pay means customers with Apple Pay can now access City Red bus services and pay for their ticket using their iPhone or Apple Watch. There is no need to wake or unlock the device, open an app or use Face ID or Touch ID.
Customers will now be able to enjoy the true ‘tap-and-go’ convenience of Express Mode for Apple Pay on iPhone and Apple Watch by holding their device close to the reader, which will help make boarding even faster. For customers using Face ID on iPhone, Express Mode for Apple Pay has the additional advantage of allowing customers to keep their face covering on while boarding the bus.
Marc Reddy commented:
As the first bus operator in the south of England outside of London we’re rolling out Express Mode for Apple Pay in Southampton, which means iPhone and Apple Watch users can pay with their device without having to wake or unlock it first, making life as easy as possible for bus travel.
Users will also benefit from the new ’Tap & Cap’ payment feature. Apple Pay is easy to set up: On iPhone, simply open the Wallet app, tap +, and follow the steps to add your credit or debit cards. To enable Express Mode for Apple Pay, go to Settings and select your chosen card in Wallet & Apple Pay under Express Travel Card.
In recent weeks bus operator City Red has boosted its service levels and made more seats available on its vehicles as demand increases. The company also introduced new features on its First Bus app which show customers in real time how many seats are available on the next bus, if the wheelchair space is in use, where the bus is on a map and how long it will take to arrive.
Some final pointers:
- Bus users who pay using contactless should make sure they use the same payment method every time for Tap & Cap to work.
- Customers are encouraged to use cashless payment on our services and only use cash as a last resort.
- Customers wanting to find out more about Tap & Cap can visit https://www.firstgroup.com/southampton/tickets/tap-cap
- For more information on Apple Pay, visit: https://www.apple.com/uk/apple-pay/