Contactless FAQs

Q - Is contactless available in my area?

A - Contactless payments will be available on all Arriva buses in the UK by the end of June 2019. Check when it will be introduced your region:

North East


North West



Beds and Bucks

Herts and Essex

Kent and Surrey


Q - How does contactless work?

A - Contactless is a quick, easy and secure way to pay for your bus travel. Contactless payments can be made for any ticket up to the value of £30. Instead of paying with cash, you can pay contactless by placing your card on the yellow contactless reader.


Q - Which contactless cards can I use?

A - Contactless payment cards issued for Visa, MasterCard and Maestro can be used. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to accept payments by American Express. 


Q - Can I use a card not issued in the UK?

A - Yes, all cards issued by Visa and MasterCard are accepted on our buses.


Q - Can I use a contactless enabled device other than a credit or debit card?

A - Yes, we accept payment by Apple Pay and Google Pay. 


Q - How do I know if my card has contactless?  

A - Look for the contactless symbol on your bank debit or credit card. Most new cards will come with this facility available. If you're unsure, check with your issuer. 


Q - How close do I have to be to the contactless reader?

A - You can place your card on or just above the reader.


Q - Which tickets can I buy with contactless?

A - You can buy any tickets (single, return, day or weekly) up to the value of £30. We have also introduced a group ticket, where a number of single or return tickets to the same destination can be purchased as one paper ticket; for example 1 adult and 2 children, single to town centre, will be printed as one ticket and can be purchased with one tap of your contactless card or device, providing the total cost is less than £30.  


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

A - Yes. We’re launching contactless payment as an alternative to paying for your journey/ticket. Tickets will still be provided and will also include your payment card receipt. 


Q - Will I get a payment receipt if I pay with contactless?

A - The ticket produced will have a section attached with your payment card receipt.


Q - What if my payment does not work?

A - There are a few reasons why a card may not work and 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 a card not being accepted. Some of the reasons why a card may not work include:

  • Card is outside of the validity dates i.e. expired
  • Card is not a contactless card
  • Card is not accepted e.g. American Express
  • Card is being presented for a payment over £30
  • Your card hasn't been approved by the bank for the transaction
  • You haven’t used your card as a chip and pin before
  • Your mobile device has not been set up correctly to use Apple Pay or Google Pay or you are not using the Apps to support the payment properly.

If you expect your card to work and it doesn’t, please contact the issuing bank for advice.


Q - How do I know if my payment has gone through?

A - On the bus ticket machines a successful payment is shown on the customer screen, the light will go green, the machine beeps and a ticket is printed. If it's unsuccessful there will be a message on the screen, the light will turn red and no ticket will be issued.


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

A - Our drivers will be able to refund a ticket if this is brought their attention immediately after purchase. Unlike other retail terminals, the ticket sale stays on the ticket machine for a short period of time; after this time the ticket sale is not available for refund. If your transaction is not on the drivers list, 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.


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

A - If the machine detects more than one card it will beep and a transaction declined message will be displayed.


Q - Will I ever need to input my PIN?

A - No, contactless payment on our buses is done via the yellow reader and ticket machine and will not ask you to put your PIN.


Q - Can I use my contactless card to make more than one payment?

A - Yes. Your card can be used more than once. If you need to buy different types of tickets (e.g. two day tickets or multiples of the same ticket that would take you over the £30 limit) these would need to be separate payments. 


Q - Is my contactless payment safe?

A - All our equipment is tested and certified to comply with strict bank 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 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.