iPhone / Apple Watch and EZ-Link, NETS Flashpay

Since my iPhone reacts when brought near to the NFC (near-field communication) terminal on the bus and brings up the “Pay with Touch ID” screen, I was wondering if you could use your iPhone instead of an EZ-Link or NETS Flashpay card to pay for a bus or train trip.

SMRT and SBS Transit support the EZ-Link and NETS Flashpay contactless cards for payment on buses and trains here in Singapore.

Since a few years ago both Android and iPhone handsets have started to include an NFC chip. I believe that there are android apps that let you use your android phone as an EZ-Link / NETS Flashpay card.

As far as the iPhone is concerned, Apple added some NFC support in iOS11 – it should now be possible to use an iPhone to *read* an NFC card. As far as using an iPhone with an NFC terminal however, they restrict that functionality to only support Apple Pay – that’s why you can’t currently use your iPhone to pay for a trip on the bus or train.

update – I heard that Apple do support the Suica transit card in Japan.

Let’s hope they start extending the support of transit cards to other countries – including Singapore…

-Stuart.

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