Contactless & Capping FAQs

Contactless FAQ videos

How does TapTapCap work?

With TapTapCap you can travel across our entire network and you’ll never pay more than you need to, even if your plans change!  We’ll automatically charge you the cheapest daily fare for the journeys you’ve made that day – you’ll never pay more than the appropriate Day or Night Ticket. Keep using the same card or device for all your journeys that same week running Monday – Sunday and, if you hit one of our weekly caps, then you won’t pay any more for your remaining journeys that week.

TapTapCap is easy, fast, and secure. 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!

If you travel on a service which has more than one Adult Single fare, please state your destination before tapping your contactless payment card to ensure you are charged the correct amount.  You will receive a ticket showing which zone(s) you can travel in.

Please note, TapTapCap is not currently available for travel on Edinburgh Trams.

There’s no need to choose what ticket to purchase, just tap your contactless card or device every time you need to travel.  We’ll automatically charge you the cheapest fare for the journeys you’ve made on that day – you’ll never pay more than the appropriate Day, Night or Weekly Ticket. Daily capping resets around 4am each morning, and Weekly caps reset at 00:00 on Monday.

Two examples are below:

1 journey on a Lothian day service£1.80
2 journeys on a Lothian day service£3.60
More than 2 journeys on Lothian day services DAYticket cap £4.40

1 journey in the city zone after 6pm£1.80
1 NightBus journey in the city zone LATEticket cap £4.00

Similarly, various caps also apply to journeys on Night Bus, Airlink, Skylink, EastCoastbuses, and Lothiancountry. See our Tickets page for more information.

Please note, TapTapCap is not available for travel on Edinburgh Trams.

We accept Visa and Mastercard (including Maestro) cards that display the contactless symbol, or that have been added to Apple Pay and Google Pay.

American Express contactless payment cards are not accepted.

If you find that your card doesn’t work, please contact your bank or card issuer.  Please be aware that cards issued outside of the UK may incur overseas transaction fees applied by your bank or card issuer.

No – capping can only be applied to the card or device used, so please continue to use the same contactless card or device for the rest of that day, or week if you want weekly capping. 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).

No, if a driver asks you to move to a replacement bus during a journey 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 is a replacement.

TapTapCap is not available on Edinburgh Trams.  If you’re planning to travel on Edinburgh Trams using a Day Ticket, please ask the driver for a paper Day Ticket and indicate that you wish to pay by contactless.  Wait until the driver prompts you to tap your card.  If the transaction is approved, the Day Ticket will be printed – just show this ticket on any bus or tram you travel on that day.

Can I buy other tickets with contactless?

Yes! Even if your child doesn’t have their own contactless bank card or device, there are a number of prepaid contactless cards children and young people can use to pay, such as The Rooster Card (other products are also available).

Just request the child ticket(s) required from the driver and indicate that payment will be made via contactless. As the machines are set to single adult travel by default, you must wait until the driver prompts you to tap your card otherwise an adult fare will be applied. If the transaction is approved, the child ticket(s) will be printed along with a receipt.

Yes, you can tap your card/device once to record a TapTapCap journey for yourself and then request the ticket(s) you require from the driver for the other person. The driver will let you know when to tap your card and, if the transaction is approved, the ticket(s) will be printed along with a receipt.

Please note that capping cannot be applied to paper tickets, so please take care to request the appropriate ticket.

Payment queries.

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 may be 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 a future update. In the meantime, you can view your payments on your bank statement, or by viewing the transaction history using Apple Pay or Google Pay.

If you used a physical card to travel, please visit our customer portal to view your journeys and payments for the past 7 days.

Please be aware that:

The date your payment appears on your bank statement will not be the same as the date you travelled. At the earliest, we request the payment the day after you travelled. Additionally, it may take a couple of working days for your bank to process the payment.

Multiple payments may be debited from your bank account on the same day. Customers who travel on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday may experience this because most banks don’t process payments over the weekend.

If you use a Mastercard, your bank statement may show a “pending” 10p or £1 charge for your first tap (10p for UK Mastercards, £1 for International Mastercards). This is just a temporary charge to check the card is valid – we do not collect the payment.  The time it takes to be returned to your available balance depends on your bank – most banks take a couple of working days, but some banks take up to 30 days.

If you use a Maestro card, your bank statement will show a “pending” charge of £20.  This is a temporary amount; your bank statement will update to show the correct amount within a few days when your actual daily travel charge has been calculated.

This is payment for a previous day’s travel.

When you tap your card, we don’t charge you immediately because we don’t know how much your daily fare will be at that point – your daily fare depends on any other journeys you might take that day/night.  We normally calculate the cheapest fare for the journeys you’ve made in the early hours of the following day, and request payment then.

If you use a Mastercard, your bank statement may show a “pending” 10p or £1 charge for your first tap (10p for UK Mastercards, £1 for International Mastercards). This is just a temporary charge to check the card is valid – we do not collect the payment.  The time it takes to be returned to your available balance depends on your bank – most banks take a couple of working days, but some banks take up to 30 days.

What if my card/device is declined?

If the driver tells you that the card has not been accepted for travel, you will need to use another payment method to pay for your journey.

There are many possible reasons why a card or device is not accepted for travel, and our driver will not be able to tell you the reason.  Please see “Why has my card not worked on the bus?” for more information.

Please note that you may see an attempted payment, even though your card or device has not been accepted for travel. This will not be payment for that journey – it will be payment for a previous journey or journeys that have not been paid for.  Please see “My card has been declined and is blocked, how do I unblock it?” for more information.

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

  • Your bank has declined a previous transaction and your card/device is blocked – see “My card has been declined and is blocked, how do I unblock it?” for more information.
  • Your bank hasn’t approved the transaction.
  • The card has not had a chip and PIN transaction for a period of time.
  • You’ve got a new or replacement contactless card and have not yet 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.
  • 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.
  • Your mobile device has not been set up correctly to use Apple Pay or Google Pay, or you are not using the apps to support the payment properly. For help, please see Apple’s website or Google’s website.
  • The card has expired.
  • The card is not contactless enabled (look for the logo).
  • The card is damaged and cannot be read by the card reader.

If your card or device is declined when we submit for payment, your card or device will be prevented from being used for travel on our services until any unpaid fares have been paid in full and we have received a successful authorisation from your bank.

To unblock your card or device, please present that card or device for a TapTapCap journey.  The card or device will still be blocked, so you will need to use another payment method to pay for that journey, but this will trigger an attempt to collect any unpaid fares and will seek an authorisation from your bank.  If successful, your card or device will be unblocked, which usually takes about 15 minutes.

Under TapTapCap, we do not take payment at the time of travel as we need to know the total number of journeys made in order to apply the lowest applicable fare. This is why payments usually come out of customers’ accounts in the early hours of the following day.

If your card was declined but you’ve seen a payment come out of your account shortly afterwards, this will have been payment for a previous journey that remained outstanding. By attempting to use your card on board, this will trigger an attempt to collect the unpaid fare and – if successful – the fare will come out of your account and your card will be unblocked for future use on our services.

I need more help.

Should you have any further questions, contact information and an email form can be found on our Customer Services page.

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