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  Reply # 1949757 31-Jan-2018 22:34
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More specifically my annoyance is related to the lack of an iphone app (Snappers problem) the lack of a nfc iphone top up solution (not Snappers fault) and the lack of an alternative suggested by others and in use elsewhere - where the mobile app balance top up is transferred to the card when it is next connected to a tag terminal (maybe Snappers problem?).


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  Reply # 1949835 1-Feb-2018 08:54
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jonherries: More specifically my annoyance is related to the lack of an iphone app (Snappers problem) the lack of a nfc iphone top up solution (not Snappers fault) and the lack of an alternative suggested by others and in use elsewhere - where the mobile app balance top up is transferred to the card when it is next connected to a tag terminal (maybe Snappers problem?).

 

There is little point in having an iPhone app if it can't use the NFC function ...

 

The retailer and kiosk top ups work just fine and there is a snapper retailer pretty much everywhere.





Mike

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1949909 1-Feb-2018 10:21
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Interesting thread, and timely too. My daughter was whinging about her AT Hop balance not showing up overnight.

One thing that I'm still not clear on though is how the online balance is updated. Does that take an additional synch step, which occurs after the top-up has been applied to the card? And if so, is this part of the nightly synchronisation process mentioned earlier?


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  Reply # 1949989 1-Feb-2018 11:36
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I recently had to stay in Auckland for about a week following surgery.  Due to limited mobility I thought I would get out and about on public transport.

 

Found the AT Hop system quite difficult and had few issues with balances not topping up correctly etc. Admittedly I was still a bit dopey and perhaps I was unlucky. 

 

However I've been using snapper on and off for over 5 years and never, ever had a single problem.





Mike

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  Reply # 1950030 1-Feb-2018 12:32
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kryptonjohn:

 

Seems incredibly frustrating to me - trying to manage linked kids cards. One lost his card and another started using the bus yesterday. So two new cards. Topped them up two days ago but still shows as 'pending transactions' and zero balance.

 

Try to transfer the balance of the lost card to the new card? Won't work online. Half an hour on the phone yesterday (so that's personally cost me about $75 in lost billable time) and still can't get that done.

 

Countless millions of Auckland ratepayer money has gone into this turkey and it's still utterly hopeless.

 

 

The money won't show on the card until the card is tapped on a reader. 





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  Reply # 1950043 1-Feb-2018 12:33
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dclegg:

 

Interesting thread, and timely too. My daughter was whinging about her AT Hop balance not showing up overnight.

One thing that I'm still not clear on though is how the online balance is updated. Does that take an additional synch step, which occurs after the top-up has been applied to the card? And if so, is this part of the nightly synchronisation process mentioned earlier?

 



The key thing is the money isn't "there" until the card is tapped on a reader. So it will show as pending until card taps reader (and card is updated). 

In the past my money has usually been available for update to card in 2-4 hours during the day....sometimes even faster. I pay via the web site. 

You can always add money on the machines at the stations, then the card is instantly updated. 





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  Reply # 1950046 1-Feb-2018 12:37
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Linuxluver:

The key thing is the money isn't "there" until the card is tapped on a reader. So it will show as pending until card taps reader (and card is updated). 

 



Tapping the reader updates the balance on the card. I get that. But makes sense that the balance available via the website would still show pending until it has been told that the balance on the card is updated. Does this happen during the next nightly synch run?

In other words, can there be a delay of up to 48 hours before a top-up transaction goes from pending to part of the actual card balance, as viewed via the website?


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  Reply # 1950108 1-Feb-2018 13:46
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dclegg:

 

Linuxluver:

The key thing is the money isn't "there" until the card is tapped on a reader. So it will show as pending until card taps reader (and card is updated). 

 



Tapping the reader updates the balance on the card. I get that. But makes sense that the balance available via the website would still show pending until it has been told that the balance on the card is updated. Does this happen during the next nightly synch run?

In other words, can there be a delay of up to 48 hours before a top-up transaction goes from pending to part of the actual card balance, as viewed via the website?

 

 

I don't know. As long as the money appears on my card, I don't worry too much about the web site. 

If it was the other way around I'd be concerned.....or both failed to update (within stated service expectations) in line with money added.......then I'd be worried. 

Is that happening?  





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  Reply # 1950112 1-Feb-2018 13:49
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Linuxluver:

Is that happening?  

 



I'll have to ask my daughter after her next top up. Her next bus trip is this afternoon, and I won't see her until after 10PM, so the results would be inconclusive if her expected correct balance is shown online.

She did find it useful to hear how the top up process works though. She was unaware of this. The extra step of the online balance being updated is more curiosity on my part (and just in case she questions it in future).


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  Reply # 1950181 1-Feb-2018 15:12
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dclegg:

 

Linuxluver:

The key thing is the money isn't "there" until the card is tapped on a reader. So it will show as pending until card taps reader (and card is updated). 

 



Tapping the reader updates the balance on the card. I get that. But makes sense that the balance available via the website would still show pending until it has been told that the balance on the card is updated. Does this happen during the next nightly synch run?

In other words, can there be a delay of up to 48 hours before a top-up transaction goes from pending to part of the actual card balance, as viewed via the website?

 

 

Does she use auto top up or manual??





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  Reply # 1950185 1-Feb-2018 15:35
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old3eyes:

 

Does she use auto top up or manual??

 



Manual, as far as I know. 

Does that change the answer to my question? 


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  Reply # 1950833 2-Feb-2018 17:59
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kryptonjohn:

 

I do but it doesn't push the value onto the card so you don't "see it" until tagged at a reader (and the reader on the bus might not have been uploaded with the topup so it still doesn't become usable). An NFC push completes the whole process in one uninterruptable process/

 

 

Auto top ups do not work like that. Once you've touched on and the auto top up is written, it does not need to go online to apply future auto top ups, only changes to the auto top up instruction.

 

MikeAqua:

 

I hope the system Auckland uses is never rolled out nationwide.

 

While it makes perfect sense to have one system usable for all public transport, nationwide ... AT Hop (based on my experience of it) is either not the right system, or not well implemented.

 

I've used public transport in Auckland (Hop),  Welly (Snapper) and ChCh (MetroCard).  of the three systems Snapper seems easiest to use - although it could do with being extended to trains and ferries.

 

I first visited Singapore in 2003 and they had their public transport prepay system absolutely nailed way back then.  I don't understand why NZ authorities make such a meal of it.

 

What would be even better is simply being able to use a contact-less debit/credit card on public transport everywhere.

 

 

The reason NZTA and Auckland Transport hated Snapper is because Snapper Services Ltd held the float (cash deposits/stored value) and collected the interest. Both those two organisations wanted control of that pool of money and it wasn't negotiable. They also did not like the way Snapper allowed the use of stored value to complete instore transactions (e.g. purchasing goods).

 

Additionally, other transport providers were not happy about Snapper, who are owned by Infratil, who own NZ Bus, having access to their passenger data. The way they saw it, that was giving passenger data to their competitor who could leverage it in order to cherry pick profitable routes to tender against them for. Whether this was completely unfounded paranoia is unknown.

 

Lastly, the Snapper system also had the downside of being totally dependent on the third party Korea Smart Card Company who operate the Snapper backend system - it's actually a white label version of the T-Money system operated in Seoul which is operated on Snapper's behalf by KSCC. All the data goes through their clearinghouse in South Korea.

 

Better would be a system like Cubic's, which powers TfNSW's Opal, Translink's Go Card, TfL's Oyster, Miami-Dade County's EASY Card, MTC's Bay Area Clipper Card, Harris County MTA's Q Card, and dozens of others - which also (as is evidenced by Oyster, trials with Opal, and discussions with Go Card) supports simply accepting payment cards directly for paying for public transit.

 

dclegg:

Manual, as far as I know. 

Does that change the answer to my question? 

 

 

It does. Auto top up writes a record onto the card that says "an auto top up of $x will occur when the balance falls below $x". When you touch on, if the reader sees the balance has gone below this amount, it writes the new balance as if the top up occurred, even though it hasn't and adds to its queue to notify home base to enact the top up at next sync. So when that bus returns to home base and syncs, the back office system receives the top up instruction and charges the associated card.

 

However, and this is the part of the AT system that sucks the big one, if the card transaction fails, the back office system writes a blacklist instruction back to the network, and next time your card is touched onto a reader after sync (or immediately if it's an online reader such as a train station cattle gate or ferry podium) it will immediate block it from future use. I believe AT being AT, it also writes a blacklist instruction for all your other linked cards too, because why not.

 

Auto top up is basically a trust system, the system trusts that the top up will work. Same as the negative balance touch off, where they trust you'll resolve the negative balance.


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  Reply # 1950921 2-Feb-2018 21:46
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Is there something special you have to do to get an auto top up to start working? Our family has 5 cards and we have only managed to get the auto top up working on 1 of our cards after multiple attempts and failures.

 

It appears you need multiple tag on/off to initiate the process? Is it more than 4?

 

Recently had another failure. Daughter's card had an auto top transaction pending but after 4 tag on/offs it just refuses kick in and now the card is without balance. Calling CS is absolutely useless. I've have now given up on auto top up and have been forced to load $200 per card and have to keep logging in to check balances.


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  Reply # 1950947 2-Feb-2018 21:53
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Kyanar:

 

However, and this is the part of the AT system that sucks the big one, if the card transaction fails, the back office system writes a blacklist instruction back to the network, and next time your card is touched onto a reader after sync (or immediately if it's an online reader such as a train station cattle gate or ferry podium) it will immediate block it from future use. I believe AT being AT, it also writes a blacklist instruction for all your other linked cards too, because why not.

 

 

Your card is blacklisted only after three failed payment attempts. I've had quite a few payment failures (usually due to not having enough in the account that my AT card was linked to) and to date never had my cards blacklisted (either the linked card or any of the others on my account). I am also pretty sure they don't blacklist other cards linked to your account.

 

Like I said it's one of those features I wish AT never offered as it is a complex beast with horrible edge cases that bite people in the arse pretty harshly. I can see why many systems overseas don't offer a similar feature and I would dare day they look at AT and breathe a sigh of relief that they never implemented it.

 

- James


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  Reply # 1950951 2-Feb-2018 22:03
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r055b:

 

Is there something special you have to do to get an auto top up to start working? Our family has 5 cards and we have only managed to get the auto top up working on 1 of our cards after multiple attempts and failures.

 

It appears you need multiple tag on/off to initiate the process? Is it more than 4?

 

Recently had another failure. Daughter's card had an auto top transaction pending but after 4 tag on/offs it just refuses kick in and now the card is without balance. Calling CS is absolutely useless. I've have now given up on auto top up and have been forced to load $200 per card and have to keep logging in to check balances.

 

 

You typically only need need one tag on/off the next day. If you request it via the web site on Day 1, it will push out an instruction to enable auto top-up on your card to all the stations/piers/buses overnight, and on Day 2 your first tag on will (in >99% of cases) receive an instruction to enable auto top-up.

 

There are some rare cases where you may get a vehicle that didn't get the instructions overnight but I would be surprised if you came across four of them in a row. Another case where you will not get the auto top-up applied is when you attempt it too soon (e.g. same day).

 

I would also check that you have requested the auto top-up correctly via the website and try tagging on no earlier than the next day. You can also get a card info printout at a top-up machine which should tell you whether the auto top-up is enabled or not.

 

No need to keep logging into the website to check balances. The AT machines tell you the balances every time you tag on/off and the balances they report are the exact balances (unlike the website which offers a delayed version of data much like Visa/MC/Amex does).


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