Lines found inside iOS 12.3 code point to potential support for EMV card integration with Apple Pay for transit purposes, as Tap Down Under reports.
It appears Apple is attempting to make the Apple Pay Transit process easier for all commuters by expanding the availability of the Apple Pay "Express Transit" feature to new card types.
Apple Pay Express Transit And EMV Card Integration
As the report explains, Apple Pay Express Transit is currently limited to "stored value cards" such as Suica. It's the kind of card where the user keeps a certain amount of money and preloads it with funds when they run out. This card is commonly used on transit passes, which is why it's supported by Express Transit within Apple Pay.
But code within iOS 12.3 hints that Apple Pay users will soon be able to add EMV cards and use it with Apple Pay Express Transit, which includes Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Potentially, this means users would be able to set a default transport card from their existing Apple Pay cards and use it for Apple Pay Express Transit — no need to be stuck with stored value cards.
Apple Pay would be able to distinguish what type of terminal the user taps their phone at, too. If it's a non-transit terminal, the app will prompt them to authenticate, as they would on a regular Apple Pay purchase.
This makes plenty of sense, and it lines with Apple's plans to expand Apple Pay Transit to the MTA Network in New York City this summer. MTA supports the EMV card platform, allowing commuters to enter trains via contactless payments. Apple Pay Express Transit, for the uninitiated, lets users take their iPhone or Apple Watch and use that to authenticate entrances at contactless terminals, with no need to use Face ID, Touch ID, or even unlock the phone.
Being able to use EMV cards within Apple Pay Express Transit would make public commute much easier for users since they would no longer need to preload or convert funds to transit fare. In short, it streamlines the process significantly.
The question is when Apple plans to roll out iOS 12.3 exactly. There have already been four betas rolled out as of this time, Engadget notes. That means a stable release might be a few weeks away, if not sooner. In any case, make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.