Citymapper Pass


This is an interesting move. They’re starting off by selling a subscription for zones 1 + 2 in London, though at a cheaper rate than a weekly pass. Interestingly the card has a MasterCard logo on it, so I assume that it will act as a contactless card rather than an oyster card.

I don’t think this initial offering has much going for it (other than an unsustainably low price), but if they can actually make a card that works with multiple transit smart card systems worldwide, that would be pretty cool.

I’d love to give it a try, as I’m a big fan of Citymapper as a company, but I walk to work most days, so it’s not going to be any good for me personally.


TfL said the subsidising of the travelcard cost intended to attract users will be covered by Citymapper. A TfL spokesperson said: “Citymapper have now confirmed that we will be paid the existing fares as usual for all journeys on our services as part of their proposals for a subscription service bundling together a number of transport options.”

The £5.10 it costs them won’t be hard to cover but its all the extras that will be hard to sustain.


They could cover it to start with, sure. But I assume they want this to be profitable, not loss-making at some point.

Also, I’m surprised that MasterCard would let them issue a card that can only be used with one merchant (TfL)… Seems strange

(Liam) #4

That would be nice, but pretty hard to pull off.

For example Oyster is based on the MiFare NFC technology which is from the same family as your bank’s contactless cards.

Meanwhile, the NY MTA card is a flimsy thing that uses a mag stripe.


Yeah, I can’t see them going to magstripe. But there’s plenty of cities that have moved to NFC for transit passes that could be added. Seems like a huge logistical/partnerships undertaking though, even if it’s technically feasible


Early signups are in a secret place…

Anyone know where you can sign up?


I have a tab in the Citymapper app for it. In fact it appeared a couple of days ago and I registered before I knew what I was registering for


The card isn’t restricted to TFL though, in an interview they said about Google pay and Apple pay. The subscription is a one off weekly cost for unlimited tap in at TFL and bikes.

“The vision of this for the long term is if you’re subscribing to this, it works for you everywhere — you could go to any city and we’ll have you covered,” Yusuf told Wired UK .


Yeah they definitely have plans to expand beyond just TfL, but what I’m unclear on is whether I can use this card for other payments. They say that for beyond zone 2, you can have another payment card linked. But could I use this card at Tesco?


No where have they said its restricted to TFL in fact to have Apple pay and Google pay they won’t be able to restrict it, as they can’t use merchant blocking through either of them.

Its a contactless card that will be using the TFL limit, so you can tap in and out as much as you like and it would only cost you the £30 or £40, so they are obviously paying the extra direct to TFL using the card they issue.


Indeed. I would also doubt they’d be able to restrict it with any MasterCard, regardless of Google/Apple pay, which was why I was confused.

I guess for other merchants (and travel beyond zone 2) it must function like Curve then? Forward the transaction to your linked card.


That would be the logical choice, however Citymapper has its own software, and I would assume the card would be linked to that, it already has payment options in place. So it may launch it as a full card, although I doubt that.

My betting is it will be on the Wirecard backend so operated as prepaid either auto top up like curve or manual like some of the others.

They must have the agreement with the card provider to announce plans already, so it won’t be long before more details are given about it.


I’m more impressed by how they can get the card into Apple Pay with a fresh product, when existing fintechs still appear to have trouble with getting it in place.


We don’t know it will be launched with Apple pay, but the wirecard backend is simple to integrate into Apple pay, it doesn’t need to be built like new companies building the app from scratch.


I saw this in the app the other day, this’d be pretty neat to be honest

(Don't Bullshirt Me, I know what the Fork is going on here!) #16

It’s in app (you may need to update


Likewise. The release notes in the last update hinted at a secret sign-up. It was just another tab in the app. Signed up out of curiosity even though I now almost certainly won’t get one of these cards (I commute into London and spend less than £35 per week on transport within London).

(sam) #18

I think there’s scope to make money as many people just buy a weekly travel card rather than work out what journeys they actually need.

(Don't Bullshirt Me, I know what the Fork is going on here!) #19

It has launched today

Sadly no good for me as I’m in Zone 3


I’m Zone 6 :frowning_face: but a great idea!