NX West Midlands Hero

Contactless help & FAQs

The answers to the most common questions from our customers

FAQs - Contactless 

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about contactless payments. Don't’ forget to also visit our contactless page for pricing and to check your latest payments.

Contactless FAQs

What is contactless and how does it work?

It’s easy, simply take your contactless card, tap on the reader and go!

  1. Place your card or device (Apple Pay, Apple Watch, Google Pay and Android Pay supported), on to the card machine at the front of the bus.
  2. Wait for the positive beep and green screen.
  3. No ticket will be issued, just take a seat.


You will need to use the same card or device for every tap you make each day

How can I see my payments or journeys made?

Please visit our contactless page to track your payments.

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.

Some UK card providers don't or haven’t yet issued contactless payment cards. 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.

If you're not sure if your card is contactless, check with your card issuer.

You can't use contactless payment cards on our buses issued on other platforms, such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB or Union Pay.

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. 

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. 

Maestro Card will put a £20 pre-auth onto your account, but this will be removed once payment is taken the working day after travel.

Why has my card not worked on the bus?

If you see a red screen 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. Please try it again after 5 seconds.


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

  • The card has expired.
  • The card is not contactless (look for the logo)
  • The card is the wrong type.
  • Your card has been flagged up as not having had a chip and PIN transaction for a certain period.
  • Your card hasn’t been approved by your bank for the transaction. This could happen on the first or second usage on the bus.
  • If you've got a contactless card but haven't used it yet, you might need to make a chip and PIN payment elsewhere before you can use it for contactless payments on the bus.
  • If you touch your purse or wallet containing more than one contactless payment card (including a Swift card) 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.

Can I pay for other passengers using one contactless card?

No, you can only use one contactless card or device per tap, per journey, per customer.

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

Can I pay for my childs' travel using my contactless card/device?

Sorry no.  If you are travelling with a child and you have a travelcard, concessionary pass or day ticket (bought other than via contactless) then you may purchase an add-on ticket at a discounted rate or check out our mTicket app and see if a group ticket would be more beneficial.

Can I pay for short hop journeys using contactless?

Sorry not at the moment. A contactless tap is a set fare for either a single journey if used one, or day ticket if tapped more than once.

Can I pay for everyone's ticket using my contactless card/device if I'm in a group?

No, you can only pay for your own individual travel when using your contactless card or device. You can pay for group travel via cash, on our mTicket app  or Swift Pay As You Go.

I have been charged several times on the same day . . . .

Payments are run between 2am and 3am the day after you have travelled. Most banks then process them the next working day. This can mean if you travelled Friday, Saturday and Sunday that 3 transactions show up on Monday.

I have been charged more than £4.60 for one day’s travel . . . .

Sometimes transactions are not communicated immediately. If a vehicle is not connected to the 3G/4G network, it stores the information and will only transmit once the vehicle is connected to a secure WiFi network. This can sometimes lead to charges that exceed a usual cap as the ‘debt’ from the delayed transaction is added in. If you check back over previous days you should find you have been charged correctly.

How will a bus inspector know that I have paid?

When our inspectors do a ticket check they will ask you for the last 4 digits of your card number or your device card number which will be checked against a list printed from the bus you are on.

If you use Apple Pay: To find the last 4 digits of the Apple Pay device, you will need to go into the 'Wallet and Apple Pay' from 'Settings', select the card then click on 'Info' and it will display the Device Account Number.

If you use Android Pay: To find the last 4 digits of the Android Pay device, you will need to go into the Android Pay app and select the card and it will display the Virtual Account Number.

If I need to change bus mid-journey, do I tap again?

No! If you have to change buses during a journey due to a vehicle breaking down or no driver being available at a staff changeover point, please do not touch in on the replacement bus. Should an inspector board, they will be made aware that the vehicle has been replaced.

How do I unblock my card?

If your card has been blocked when using one of our buses, please check with your card issuer if there is a reason why. If given the all clear, please try again on our buses. If problems persist please email nx.contactless@nationalexpress.com

Is contactless available on every route?

Yes, contactless is available on all buses across our network.

If you have any other questions

Please contact us - email nx.contactless@nationalexpress.com

To get more information about contactless payment cards, go to the UK Cards Association website.

Click here for terms and conditions.

Like us on Facebook

See what we're up to, what's going on locally and get the latest service updates.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

The best place to see the latest West Midlands travel updates while on the go.

Follow us on Twitter
Get inspired on Instagram

See local sights and tag us in your bus pictures. Follow us to get involved!

Follow our Instagram

Back to top

© Copyright National Express West Midlands 2021