30 September, 2014

Payment Wristband on the London Underground

I previously blogged about making a paytag sticker into a wristband. Later Barclays Bank released a variation: bpay, a prepay mastercard already in a wristband.

The wristband holder is pretty shitty and falloffable: it is bulky and I know two people (one being myself) who have lost their bands accidentally. I've rehoused mine on a woven bracelet.

Being a pre-pay band, this chip does an online authorisation for every transaction, making it sometimes a little slower. But for the same reason, they expose authorisations (not just cleared transactions) in their live online statement.

I recently made my first journey on the London Overground using bpay (I've been on their contactless payment trial for 6 months but using a different card) and I got to see an initial authorisation that I hadn't seen before with my previous (post-paid) card:

0908 Enter train system at Wapping station
0915 bpay sees this authorization:
Auth: TfL Travel Charge,TFL.gov.uk/CP,GB 29/09/2014 9:14:50 Posted On: 29/09/2014 GBP 0.10
0922 Leave train system at Shoreditch High Street
then around close of business on day+1, that Auth gets replaced with the actual charge:
    Fin: TFL.GOV.UK/CP,VICTORIA,TFL TRAVEL C   30/09/2014  18:07:58  Posted On: 29/09/2014  GBP 7.20

Interesting that they charge 10p for authorization rather than the minimum single fare. Also note that the description of the transaction changes (to something less readable, IMO) - that seems to happen from other merchants too. Weirdos.

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