Dozens cards working for contactless travel in London


Dozens cards are working again for contactless travel in London

Hi Neil

As you might have been aware, several weeks ago Transport for London (TfL) stopped accepting Dozens cards for contactless travel in the capital. This decision had nothing to do with Dozens, and they agreed to lift the restriction, but unfortunately they required several weeks to make this change. We’re excited to announce this has now been fixed!

The Story

In July, Dozens’ debit cards were affected when a card issuer advised TfL to stop accepting the cards of a different financial institution that had recently ceased operations.

As you probably know, TfL is not able to check your live balance when you tap in on a bus or station, so they register your travel and only settle up at the end of the day. To avoid any potential misuse of invalid cards, TfL were advised to block all cards that start with the BIN (Bank Identity Number) associated with those cards.

This BIN is like a telephone number area code – each customer still has a unique number, but they are grouped together for administrative ease. While Dozens has absolutely nothing to do with that business, we happened to have the same “area code”, and unfortunately for Dozens customers, our cards were therefore also blocked in error.

Because of TfL’s own release schedules, this took six weeks to fix.

The good news is that this fix has gone to schedule, so Dozens customers can again use their cards for pay-as-you-go travel.

To avoid issues like these we are investing a lot to switch up a gear with our core systems. We recently announced that Dozens has signed a new partnership with ClearBank. One of the many benefits of this deal will be that Dozens will have a new and exclusive BIN !

If you would like more information, or want to ask any questions or raise issues, please visit our community where we have been keeping customers up to date:

https://weare.dozens.com/t/issues-with-contactless-tfl-travel-payments/1044/13

Warm regards,

The Dozens Team

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Glad they got it sorted but seems a waste of time on TfL’s part.

If it takes 6 weeks to re-add a BIN, surely it takes 6 weeks to remove the BIN? I would have thought that anyone clever enough to know how to abuse this ‘loophole’ would have done enough damage? I’m guessing that if they’ve re- added the BIN means that the same loophole is exposed again?

At least hopefully lessons will be learned regarding multiple banks/services sharing the same BIN.

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Didn’t Dozens cards stop working with TfL pretty abruptly though, ie without a 6-week notice period, during which any misunderstanding could have been cleared up.

If it took six weeks to implement the BIN ban then you have to say that TfL are pretty negligent - a lot of potential fraud against the public purse could take place during that window.

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It sounds like the card issuer thought this was a quick fix without really thinking it through.

I still think there is more to it, the card worked with TFL then it didn’t, but loot went bust and the card still worked. Doesn’t take any company 6 weeks to update a block unless something was done wrong. Unless TFL are saying it took them 6 weeks to block it in the first place, I somehow doubt that would be true.

I think in ‘normal’ way things are done, you’d assume that the system which sets out criteria for a valid card (one rule, for example would be to check against a file of known good BINs) would be central, ‘on-line’ and instantly updatable, but…

Would anybody be in the slightest bit surprised if a public-owned authority like TfL bought or created a shed load of gear that requires somebody go round each of the stations and provide updates as manual maintenance task?

I know if I were selling such a solution to TfL I’d be very interested in selling them a 10-year maintenance package to go with it!

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From all my dealings with TFL both private and professionally they are not as backwards as people seem to think.

The whole payment system connects to the customer service system. That’s why customer service staff can refund, reverse transactions and so on, without the need to refer it up. Even some massive companies have to escalate for things like that.

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Don’t get me wrong, I think what TfL have achieved with Oyster and contactless ticketing is very impressive.

Compared against what we have in the rest of the country (ie didly squat) and even against other transit sytems (New York MTA, Toulouse Metro, Barcelona) it is streets ahead.

That said, there are some odd quirks. I still don’t really get why if you are travelling to London from outside and decide to top up your Oyster online, you have to nominate a specific station from which your top-up will move onto your card. This seems like bad design - if your stations are truely connected.

Of course, being an arms-length agency of the State, they are still prone to odd decision making, bad management of public funds and occasional belligerence.

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It doesn’t quite add up. Who is the card provider?

Very quick

PSA TfL is one of the best transit systems on the planet earth and the only downside it has to other country’s ones (like NYC metro) is the lack of Apple Pay Transit, and lack of proper AC. (@ everyone who has been on the tube during the summer)

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Only point I would make on that is that the private sector is no paragon of virtue in such areas in my personal experience!

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TfL is working hard with Apple to get Apple Pay Express Transit enabled for their network, looking to get it done before the end of the year. So there’s that.

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You’ve just got to plan your journey right… :wink:

Indeed. I was on a circle line train the other day, and it was actually really cold in there. Might actually prefer non-AC trains (in normal conditions, anyway).

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Surely there’s only one AC that matters in a Dozens thread?

That’s proper AC.

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