Following the release of iOS 11.3 and watchOS 4.3, Apple began rolling out the integration of transit cards on Friday In China, iPhone and Apple Watch users have access to public transport in Beijing and Shanghai
Apple Pay's new support for the Beijing Transportation Smart Card and the Shanghai Public Transportation Card was previously picked up in iOS 11.3 beta this month. The integration still needs to be recognized on Apple's regional Apple Pay website, where Transit is still listed as a beta feature.
Despite official support, users can successfully map maps to iOS devices in the Wallet app, Wei Feng . Japanese Language Blog Ata Distance refers to a series of Twitter posts that verify activation of services.
As mentioned by Apple, the Beijing Transportation Smart Card provides access to local subway and bus routes. Although not confirmed, Wei Feng suggests cardholders to also use Apple Pay on buses and trains in cities that support the national China T-Union card.
With the Shanghai Public Transportation Card, Apple Pay's NFC capabilities can be used to reach subway, bus, ferry and Maglev routes in this city.
Unlike Japan's Suica integration, users in China can deploy a Beijing Transport Smart Card or Shanghai Public Transportation Card directly from the Wallet App, according to the Apple Support document released today. Apple Watch owners need to add maps to their wearable via the Watch app on the iPhone.
Drivers can switch between physical and digital maps, suggesting that system synchronization with a central server is balanced. In addition, the balance of an existing physical card can be transferred to Apple Pay via the charging mechanism in Wallet.
Apple's new Chinese transit card support is available on iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 1 and above.
Apple states on its Apple Pay website that the subway fare service can be used in Guangzhou and Hangzhou, although NFC-based gate and turnstile access is not available in these cities. This option is similar to the in-app purchase feature introduced in New York with the MTA eTix app.
Apple wants to improve the transit card compatibility to make Apple Pay a more valuable tool for city dwellers. Over the past year, the company has taken steps to integrate the global FeliCa technology into its mobile devices, paving the way for expansion into Asian countries.
Last year, Singapore announced plans to expand a test program that will allow bus and rail passengers to purchase tickets through contactless payment systems including Apple Pay.