Apple Pay glitch is double-charging subway riders

The MTA is expanding its contactless payment system which allows riders to use their phones to pay for rides on subway trains and buses. The problem is, even if a rider doesn't use the system, it might be charging them without them even knowing it.

It happened to Vincent Pinder of Brooklyn.  

"I was walking through the turnstile and for some reason, it's just taking money out," said Pinder. "$2.75 out of my account three times today."

Pinder had his phone in his pants pocket in the locked mode and was wearing his winter coat when it happened. 

"I walk through and it just takes the money out," said Pinder.

On top of that, he used his unlimited MetroCard, not the MTA's new contactless-pay system, which could be charging users as well.   

Alan Putre with the MTA told FOX 5 NY that it's an Apple issue.

"This is not the first time we've heard this," Putre said.

Once a consumer sets up Apple Pay, they should get a notice from Apple saying they can use it to pay for subway and bus rides. However, the Apple notice does not explain that it is automatically activated, which means it might start deducting money from their bank account as they go through the turnstile. It is not giving users a choice. It's automatically activated.


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"I didn't know it was activated," Pinder said.

The MTA said the "mobile wallet companies need to notify people and let them know" and tell them how to manage it.

Apple said it has not experienced this issue in other cities and that "Customers can easily turn off the feature in Settings on their iPhone at any time and use Face ID or Touch ID to ride transit."    

Riders also need to deactivate the feature on their Apple Watch or they could get charged for riding the subway, a full-price fare of $2.75.