Use Express Travel with Apple Pay in China mainland

Travelling on public transport in China mainland has never been easier or more convenient. Learn how to use Express Travel with Apple Pay on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

To use Express Travel with Apple Pay in China mainland, you first need to set up your travel card with Apple Pay on a compatible device: iPhone 6s and later or Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and later. You can check with your transport agency to see which devices are compatible with your public transport card.

Pay for your journey with your public transport card using Apple Pay

You can use Express Travel with Apple Pay to pay for transport services, like metro and buses.1

  1. Enter the ticket gates and hold the top of your iPhone or the display of your Apple Watch near the middle of the ticket gate scanner until you feel a vibration.
  2. You'll see Done and a checkmark on the display. Your iPhone or Apple Watch must be turned on, but it doesn't have to be connected to a network. With Express Travel, you don't need to validate with Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode, and you don't need to wake or unlock your device or open an app.
  3. Exit the ticket gates and hold the top of your iPhone or the display of your Apple Watch near the middle of the ticket gate scanner until you feel a vibration

On your compatible iPhone with the latest iOS version, Express Cards with power reserve is available for up to five hours when your iPhone needs to be charged. You can press the side button to check if Express Cards are available when your iPhone needs to be charged. Doing this often may significantly reduce the power reserve for Express Cards. If you choose to power off your iPhone, this feature will not be available.

To pay in stores with your default credit or debit card, you need to:

  • On an iPhone with Touch ID, double click the Home button when your iPhone is locked, or select your card in Wallet and authenticate before holding your iPhone near the reader.
  • On iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR and later, double click the side button and authenticate with Face ID before holding your iPhone near the reader.

If a station agent needs to service your public transport card in Apple Pay, put your device into Service Mode before you hand it to the station agent:

  • On your iPhone, open the Wallet app, tap the more button more icon. Then open Service Mode and authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode.
  • For your Apple Watch, remove it from your wrist, enter the passcode to unlock it and double click the side button. Then, select your public transport card, firmly press the screen, tap Service Mode, and ask the station agent to hold your Watch with the display facing down.

Change your Express Travel card

The first public transport card that you add to Wallet is your Express Travel card. If you add more public transport cards and want to change your Express Travel card, use these steps.

iPhone

  1. Go to the Settings app, then tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
  2. On iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and later, tap Express Travel Card. On iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, tap Automatic Public Transport Card.
  3. Choose a new public transport card, then authorise with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode.

Apple Watch

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the My Watch tab, tap Wallet & Apple Pay, then tap Express Travel Card.
  3. Choose a new card, then authorise by entering your passcode on your Apple Watch.

If you don't want a card set for Express Travel, just choose None.


Apple Watch and iPhone with public transport card

Check the balance on your public transport card

On your iPhone, open the Wallet app, then tap your public transport card. Your current balance is displayed.

On your Apple Watch, double click the side button and swipe to your public transport card to see your balance.

You can get notifications when your balance is low. To do this, open Wallet, tap your public transport card, and tap the more button more icon. Tap Balance, then tap No reminder and follow the steps to set up notifications.

If your public transport card balance is not updated

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your public transport card
  3. Tap the more button .
  4. Turn on Service Mode, then authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode.

To turn off Service Mode, tap on the card. If your balance is still incorrect, restart your iPhone.

Add money to your public transport card

To add money to your public transport card, use a China UnionPay credit or debit card that you've added to Wallet. The minimum and maximum amount that you can add to your iPhone or Apple Watch might vary by transport agency.

On your iPhone:

  1. Open the Wallet app.
  2. Tap the public transport card that you want to add money to.
  3. Tap the more button more icon, tap Add Money, then choose an amount and tap Add.
  4. Select your UnionPay credit or debit card and use Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode to complete the transaction.

On your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Wallet app.
  2. Tap your public transport card.
  3. Scroll to Card Options and tap Add Money.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Before you start your trip, make sure that you have enough money on your public transport card in Apple Pay for the entire journey. Also, make sure that your battery has enough charge to last the entire journey.

You can also add money via your transport agency's app.

  1. In Shanghai, you can use your public transport card to pay for metro, buses, ferries and maglev.

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