Contactless FAQs

How do I use Contactless?

Contactless is the easiest way to pay for your Airlink ticket.

Just indicate to the driver that you’d like to pay with contactless, and ask for the ticket you want.

When prompted, tap your card or device against the contactless reader next to the ticket machine.  Your ticket will be issued once payment is complete.

 

Which contactless cards can I use?

Visa or Mastercard (including Maestro) Contactless payment cards can be used to pay for your tickets on Airlink, as well as payments by Apple Pay and Android Pay.

We’re unable to accept payments by American Express, including where an American Express payment card is used to fund Apple Pay or Android Pay. 

 

Can I use a contactless card not issued in the UK?

We can accept most Visa and Mastercard contactless cards issued outside of the UK.  

However if your card doesn't work as expected, you’ll need to contact your card issuer to find out why.

Be aware that your card issuer may charge you an overseas transaction fee or additional charge for a payment if your card has been issued outside the UK – please check with your card issuer.

 

Can I use Apple Pay or Android Pay?

Yes, we are able to accept payments by devices using Apple Pay or Android Pay.  We don’t however accept payments by American Express made through Apple Pay or Android Pay.

 

How do I know if my card has contactless?

Look for the contactless wave symbol on your bank debit or credit card.  Most new payment cards will be contactless enabled.  If you're unsure, please check with your issuer.

 

Which tickets can I buy with contactless?

You can buy any ticket that you would normally buy with cash from the driver.

The maximum value for a single transaction made with contactless payment cards in the UK is currently £30.

 

When will contactless be available on other Lothian Buses services?

Contactless payment is currently only available on Airlink service 100 (including the N100 night service).  We’ll share updates on its availability on our other services on our website, on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

Do I still need a ticket if I pay with contactless?

Yes - contactless payment is an alternative to paying for your ticket with cash.  Tickets should be kept for the duration of your journey.

 

Will I get a receipt if I pay with contactless?

Yes - the receipt will be printed alongside your ticket. 

 

What if my payment fails?

There are a few reasons why a payment can fail.  If this happens, our driver will ask you to try another card, or pay using cash.

Unfortunately, we will not always know the reason for why a payment has failed, but this could be because:

  • The card is not a contactless card
  • The card is not accepted
  • You haven’t used your PIN with your card before
  • Your card issuer has declined the payment
  • The card isn’t yet valid, or has expired
  • Your device has not been set up correctly to use Apple Pay or Android Pay
  • Your card is damaged

 

What if my payment fails?

The card is not a contactless card

Our ticket machines cannot ask you to enter your PIN and so, if your card is not contactless enabled, it cannot be used.  Contactless cards should display the contactless symbol.

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.  If your card is rejected on our services, please contact your card issuer for more details.

You haven’t used your PIN with your card before

As a security measure, most new or replacement contactless cards won't allow contactless payments until a chip & PIN transaction has been completed first.

You should also check the 'Valid From' date (if your card has one) to ensure it is ready to be used.

Your card issuer has declined the payment

Sometimes payments may be declined by your card issuer.  When this happens, the ticket machine will print a receipt showing that the payment was declined.

The driver will then ask you to try another card or to pay with cash.

Depending on the reason for the decline, you may need to contact your card issuer to be able use the same payment card for travel on our services again.

There are a number of reasons why a card issuer will decline a payment and only the card issuer will know the specific reason.

The card isn’t yet valid, or has expired

Check that your card is still valid.  If it has expired, please ask your card issuer for a new one.

If you have a replacement contactless card, you should also check the 'Valid From' date (if it has one) to ensure it is ready to be used.  As a security measure, most new or replacement contactless cards won't allow contactless payments until a chip & PIN transaction has been completed first.

Your mobile device has not been set up correctly to use Apple Pay or Android Pay.

For devices using Apple Pay, help can be found on Apple’s website.

For devices using Android Pay, help can be found on Android’s website.

Your card is damaged

Very occasionally cards stop working and are no longer recognised by the card readers.  If your card no longer works for contactless payments at other retailers, please contact your card issuer for a replacement.

 

How do I know when my payment has been successful?

You will know that the payment has been successful when the ticket machine beeps and a ticket and receipt are printed together.  If it's unsuccessful, the ticket machine will print a receipt showing that the payment was declined.

 

I have bought the wrong ticket - can I get a refund?

Our drivers will be able to refund a ticket purchased with contactless if this is brought their attention immediately after purchase.  You’ll then need to buy another ticket if you want to travel.

Unlike other retail terminals, after the ticket sale is recorded it is cancellable from the ticket machine for only a short period of time; after which, it is not available to be refunded.  If your transaction is not on the driver’s list of very recent transactions, they can’t refund you.  Our drivers can’t refund a card payment with cash.

If you have any queries about your payment, please contact our customer services team by using our online form, or calling 0131 554 4494 and selecting option 2.

 

What happens if I present more than one card to the reader at the same time?

If the machine detects more than one card, the transaction will be cancelled.  You must only present one card or payment device to the reader in order to complete the transaction.

 

Can I still use my Ridacard or Scottish National Entitlement Card on Airlink?

Yes - just hold your Ridacard or Scottish National Entitlement Card against the smartcard reader on the top of the ticket machine as normal.

 

Will I ever need to input my PIN?

No - contactless payments on our Airlink buses will not ask you to input your PIN.

 

Can I use my contactless card more than once?

Yes - your card can be used more than once.  

 

I have a joint account, can I still use contactless payment?

Yes - and if you’re both travelling at the same time you can use each card separately for payment.

 

Is my contactless payment safe?

All our equipment is tested and certified to comply with strict card scheme standards.  Contactless payment cards are safe and secure, and have the same level of protection as Chip & PIN payments, so you can feel confident when using one to pay for travel.

During a contactless payment, minimal information is sent during the transaction and no information about your card account or personal data is displayed.  We regularly check with card issuers to make sure that your card hasn't been reported as lost or stolen.  If it has, you’re protected against fraud loss as long as you report it to your issuer as soon as possible.

Please see the UK Cards Association’s website for more information.

 

What if I have less balance on my card or in my bank account than the price of the ticket I want to buy?

This works the same as any other payment with your card, and depends on whether your card issuer will approved the transaction or decline it.  If approved, it is important that you understand that this could result in you incurring charges such as overdraft or overlimit fees.  For more information, please check with your card issuer.