Card not working on Transport for London (TfL)


#21

Actually my Revolut card worked a treat on TfL, never had a problem.
HOWEVER my friend, who also had a Revolut card, and tried to pass the barrier at the same time, caused the gates to lock up each time, which then had to be reset by the Tube staff, with other people having to wait etc. This happened at least 3 times before my friend gave up on using their card on the tube. Nevertheless their card worked fine elsewhere.


#22

Did you find out if your cards were issued by different issuers?


#23

No… I didn’t find out…


#24

I have the same issue with my mother’s card. It completely locks the gates until TFL staff restart the system.
Trying to explain this through the in app chat is a nightmare, Yesterday I had 4 friends visiting and each one of them had the revolut card. One of them, my mother’s, managed to lock all the gates at a station, all others worked without an issue,.

I managed to capture a photo of the partial error showing on the turnstile
99 on the left

XXX_104 on the right.


#25

Were you able to ask your friend and mother about the card issuer? Standard cards, premium cards, Mastercard, Visa? I’m just curious to nail down the type of card that does this.


#26

Mine is issued by Wirecard and it’s Mastercard.


#27

The issuer is Visa Credit!


#28

Same here. Happened to me yesterday, blocked a couple of machines on 3 different stations. I have more than £10 on my card (mastercard). There’s any development on this issue?


#29

Same happened half an hour ago. More than 10£ on the account. Any news?


#30

Hey guys, don’t you think it would be a good idea to post additional details? Which cards where you using? Standard or premium? Visa or MasterCard? Issued by Paysafe, Wirecard or Revolut? Maybe we can narrow it down that way.


#31

We have already provided some, look in the thread. So far there is nothing common.


#32

Hey @artemsyd, I did read the thread. Your MC (Wirecard) didn’t work. Is it a premium design or a standard design? Since there are many generations of cards in the wild, I thought it might be worth to identify more specifically which cards work and which do not. Some posts mention more details than the brand, but many do not. So some posts mention Mastercard, but not the issuer and standard/premium.

Here are the different generations I am aware of:

Paysafe issued Mastercards
Wirecard issued Mastercards (premium/standard)
Revolut issued Visa cards (standard)

I know, from my own experience, that I was able to use my card without problems: Paysafe Mastercard.

So what I am looking for is this: are there known cases where a Paysafe issued MC didn’t work and, on the other hand, is there positive confirmation that some Wirecard MCs and Revolut issued Visas did work?

Many posts that mention “mine worked, my friend’s /mother’s didn’t” do not mention these details at all.


#33

If you did read the thread, then you might have noticed that TfL experiences problems not with Revolut only, but also with other cards, for example cards from Monzo and Starling Bank. So I don’t see much point in “narrowing down” details about Revolut cards, as the problem is obviously on the TfL’s side.

By the way, it is amazing how much TfL “cares” about the issue. For almost half a year (or even more) anyone can simply “lock” the entire station so no-one could enter, and it is still not fixed yet.


#34

Again, I did read the thread. The technical problems on TfL’s side mention a time out error. That sounds to me like something that should indeed affect all cards that need online authorization. But wouldn’t one also assume by that that cards should work randomly? People also mentioned that they tried their cards a couple of times.

I believe the mystery still stands why some cards seem to work perfectly all the time and some cards do not work at all. That’s another detail here that we just do not know because people with “bad” cards stopped trying because of the embarrassing turnstile lockdown.

Is it about different card configuration? Different chip elements used in different card generations? Or is it about the location of the gates? Do some tube stations have more reliable internet connection for online authorization than others? Do busses use LTE terminals that might not have cellphone coverage in some areas?

Even if we’re going to find out that all of Revolut’s card generations are affected by this at one point, it would give us a better idea about where the problem is.


#35

The technical problems on TfL’s side mention a time out error

At least, that’s what TfL says.

That’s another detail here that we just do not know because people with “bad” cards stopped trying

I didn’t stop, I tried it several times on different terminals of DLR, Underground and buses in different parts of London. It doesn’t work anywhere. I’ve been in London for about 5 times for the last half of year and I keep trying it each time - always with the same result. And it is safe to bet that the same goes for all the other cards.

Do some tube stations have more reliable internet connection for online authorization than others? Do busses use LTE terminals that might not have cellphone coverage in some areas?

Then no card would work there, disregarding of having this contactless issue or not.

it would give us a better idea about where the problem is

We already know where - it is on the TfL’s side, and only TfL can fix that.


#36

Well, yes. There we have it. You state that “bad” cards never work. I do not doubt that. What is the difference between several Revolut cards, good ones and bad ones? Because we also know that some cards do work, probably also always work. I know it. I’ve used a Paysafe issued MC myself very reliably. We know there must be a difference. Otherwise we wouldn’t see cards that always fail and ones that always work.

Things that come to mind first:

  • different hardware parts like chips
  • different issuers
  • different card programming

Another point: you and TfL stated that the problem affects more challenger banks. What have they in common? Most of them issue “prepaid debit cards” that are configured in a way via service codes to only allow online authorization. But that might have changed. Latest Monzo cards aren’t “prepaid”, I believe. “Regular” banks issue “debit cards” (without “prepaid”) and “credit” cards. These cards can usually handle offline authorization. And that’s true for contactless. Such a card would work on a bus that has no LTE connection. They are generally considered to be more reliable and have better acceptance. So this seems to be an obvious reason for why challenger banks are affected and others not. A different service code configuration (that’s the code that defines how authorization happens on a per card level)?

Another thing they have in common: the payment processor. We know this: when Revolut’s payment processor was down last summer, other challenger banks were affected as well. When considering again the TfL statement about timeouts, it could be also that the network provider and payment processor that handles card processing for many challenger banks is not set up in a way that authorization works reliably with TfL, causing timeouts during processing. In this case, it’s more complex than just blaming TfL for not fixing it.


#37

it’s more complex than just blaming TfL for not fixing it

I follow the simple logic:

1 - My card works fine with any contactless payment terminal (except TfL). I can use it with no problems at shops, restaurants, etc - none of those experience issues with network provider and/or payment processor;
2 - At the same time my card doesn’t work with TfL. Same goes for cards from other banks, as we know, and it’s safe to assume that they work fine everywhere else as well;
3 - So far TfL is the only one “organisation” to have this issue;
4 - Conclusion: TfL is the only one to blame.

So, for us there is no point in looking for what all these “bad” cards have in common - it’s for TfL to discover and to fix it on their side.


#38

You’r dismissing some of the informations that are already available about this and that do not fit in your line of logic.

Also, the working Revolut cards do not fit in this picture. My endeavor here is not about finding out who is to blame. I want better knowledge about how to avoid a problem.

I am a Revolut user since 2015 and use with TfL wasn’t a problem for a while. Revolut’s home market is London, and when Revolut introduced their contactless card (the first wasn’t contactless), I am certain that a lot of customers used them with TfL.

And the one thing I can think of is that the card issuer changed from Paysafe to Wirecard and now to Revolut itself for example. I think it would be valuable information for users here in the forum if we could find out if the problem is limited to certain Wirecard issued cards for example.

I’m not just interested in what the “bad” cards have in common. I am at least equally interested in what the “good” cards have in common. It’s just that this group of users is less likely to jump into this discussion.


#39

Also, the working Revolut cards do not fit in this picture

Of course, because we are discussing the ones that are not working. Nobody says that it concerns all the Revolut cards.

And the one thing I can think of is that the card issuer changed from Paysafe to Wirecard

Well, mine is issued by Wirecard, as I already said. So yes, if no-one reports problems with Paysafe, then this could be the source of the problem. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because it is up to TfL to fix the problem in their system as those cards work fine everywhere else.


#40

Sure, I’ve never said that R. needs to fix anything.

That’s all I was interested in: are there “bad” Paysafe cards? And concerning Wirecard cards, is it regular + premium (they’re not just looking differently, they are made out of different card blanks, maybe made with different hardware components)?

What to do with this knowledge? In case only the premium cards are affected, premium users might be able to solve the problem by ordering a standard spare card for free.