Contactless & Capping FAQs

How does Contactless work on Lothian city services?

Paying by contactless is easy!  All you need to do is:

  • tap your card or device on the card reader
  • wait for the positive beep and green lights
  • take a seat!

How does Contactless work on Skylink services, and service 43?

Because these services have more than one Adult Single fare, the process is a little different:

  • Tell the driver your destination, and that you’d like to pay by contactless
  • tap your card or device on the card reader
  • wait for the beep and take the printed ticket

How much will I pay?

There’s no need to choose what ticket to purchase, just tap your contactless card or device every time you need to travel and we’ll automatically charge you the cheapest fare for the journeys you’ve made on that day.

For example:

Lothian city services 1 tap £1.70
3 or more taps £4.00

This means that we’ll charge you a Single Ticket fare until your total daily spend reaches the price of a Day Ticket – we’ll never charge you more that the price of that Day Ticket. Capping also applies to our NightBuses

If you use a Mastercard, your bank statement may show a “pending” or “reserved” charge for your first tap. The amount will vary according to the card type and where the card was issued: UK Mastercard £0.10; International Mastercard £1.00; Maestro cards £20.00. This is a temporary amount; your bank statement will update to show the correct amount within a few days when you’re actual daily travel charge has been calculated and settled.

Daily capping is applied to the card or device used, so please continue to use the same contactless card or device for the rest of that day.  If you swap between different payment cards or devices, your payments will not be capped.  For example, if you use both a contactless card and a phone to pay for travel in the same day, your payments will not be capped (even if they’re funded by the same bank account).

How can I check my payment and journey history?

You can view your journeys and payments made during the previous 7 days by entering your payment card details here.

If you can’t see a journey, please check again later – it maybe that the tap has not had an opportunity to be sent from the bus. If you use Apple Pay or Google Pay you cannot currently view your payments using our portal, but we are working on providing this functionality. In the meantime, you can view your payments on your bank statement, or by viewing the transaction history in the Apple Pay or Google Pay app.

Please be aware that the date your payment appears on your bank statement will not be the same as the date you travelled. We request the funds for journeys made using contactless cards or devices in the early hours of the following morning, which means that the payment may not show immediately in your account – it can take a couple of working days. Depending on your bank, you may see a “pending payment” on your bank statement.

Multiple payments may be debited from your bank account on the same day; most customers who travel on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will experience this if their bank doesn’t process payments over the weekend.

Which contactless cards are accepted?

If your card was issued in the UK on Visa or MasterCard and displays the contactless payment symbol, you should be able to travel on our services using contactless.

You can’t use your payment card to travel on our services if it does not display the contactless symbol or your card issuer has not advised you that it can be used for contactless payments.

American Express contactless payment cards are not accepted.

Pre-paid cards

If you have a pre-paid card, it may be accepted for travel on our services if you have enough credit on it before boarding.  Contact your card issuer for more information.

Joint accounts

If you have a joint account and both cards have a unique 16 digit card number you can both use your own contactless payment cards to travel at the same time; each card will be charged separately.  If you have a joint account and both cards have the same number and expiry date, only one card can be used for travel.

Non-UK contactless cards

Nearly all MasterCard and Maestro contactless payment cards issued outside the UK are accepted.  Please be aware that overseas transaction fees or charges may apply for travel made with a card issued outside the UK – please check with your card issuer.

Some Visa and V PAY contactless payment cards issued from countries outside the UK are not accepted.

Why has my card not worked on the bus?

If you see a red light on the card reader and hear a negative beep, your card has not been accepted for travel and you will need to find another way to pay for your journey.

Our driver will not know why your card or device has not been accepted as there are many possible reasons for this, including:

  • Your bank hasn’t approved the transaction.
  • The card has expired.
  • The card is not contactless enabled (look for the logo).
  • The card is not accepted.We are unable to accept payments by American Express and some contactless payment cards issued outside the UK are also not accepted.
  • The card has not had a chip and PIN transaction for a certain period.
  • You’ve got a new or replacement contactless card and not used it for a chip and PIN transaction.Most new or replacement contactless cards won’t allow contactless payments until a chip & PIN transaction has been completed first.
  • If you touch your purse or wallet containing more than one contactless payment card (including a Ridacard) on a reader you could be affected by cards clashing. This is when the reader doesn’t know which card to take the payment from.
  • Your mobile device has not been set up correctly to use Apple Pay or Android Pay, or you are not using the Apps to support the payment properly. For devices using Apple Pay, help can be found on Apple’s website(https://support.apple.com/en-gb/apple-pay).  For devices using Google Pay, help can be found on Google’s website.
  • There’s an outstanding balance due. Please enter your details here to find out if a balance is still outstanding and how to re-enable your card or device.
  • The card is damaged and cannot be read by the card reader.

If the driver asks me to change bus during a journey, do I tap again?

Sometimes a driver may ask you to move to a replacement bus during a journey.  If this happens, please do not tap your contactless card or device on the replacement bus.  Should an inspector board, they will be made aware that the vehicle has been replaced.

Can I pay for other passengers using my contactless card?

No, contactless payments are only currently available for individual travel.

Should you wish to pay for another passenger using contactless, you must use a different contactless card or device to pay for them, and they will need to use that card or device for all journeys they make for the rest of that day.

We’re working on adding the ability to purchase group paper tickets with contactless, without any capping, which will become available in a future update.

Can I pay for my child’s ticket using my contactless card or device?

No, each person must have their own contactless card or device to pay for their travel, which will be charged at the adult price.

You can purchase Child tickets using cash, or pre-purchase a book of 20 Child CITYSINGLEtickets.

We’re working on adding the ability to purchase paper tickets (including child tickets) with contactless, without any capping, which will become available in a future update.

If I am travelling as part of a group, can I pay for everyone’s ticket using my contactless card or device?

No, you can only pay for your own individual travel when using your contactless card or device.

You can pay for group travel by cash.

We’re working on adding the ability to purchase group paper tickets with contactless, without any capping, which will become available in a future update.

What about contactless payments on other Lothian services?

Daily capping is currently only available on Lothian city services, Skylink, and service 43.

You can continue use contactless payments to pay for paper tickets, without any capping, on all LothianCountry services (except service 43), as well as on Airlink and EastCoastbuses. We’re working on adding daily capping to these services, and this will become available in a future update – keep an eye out on this website and our social media feeds for updates.

Daily capping is not currently available on Edinburgh Trams.