Admittedly, I’m not a morning person. Waking up early to commute through Central London is a challenge, especially in winter when the sun rises slowly and frost is a regular occurrence.
It’s understandable to be irritable before 9 am, and one of my recent pet peeves during morning commutes is the ‘Tube gate holder-upper’ – the bleary-eyed commuters who manually activate their contactless payments each morning. While the process only takes a few seconds, it often causes delays and frustration among fellow travelers.
Thankfully, Apple has equipped its iPhones with a useful feature to prevent these hassles, and I urge you to activate it before your next journey.
The feature, Express Mode, is a shortcut that allows you to use certain cards, keys, and passes in Apple Wallet without having to wake or unlock your iPhone with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. Although this setting is supposed to be enabled by default, many people still manually approve their contactless payments every morning, prompting the need to highlight this feature here.
If your iPhone doesn’t have Express Mode enabled, the steps to activate it are straightforward. Simply open the Wallet app, select the card for daily travel payments, tap the More button, access Card Details, and then head into Express Travel Settings to enable it. Once done, your iPhone will automatically complete transactions at contactless readers, allowing you to pass through gates without delay.
Moreover, Express Mode continues to work even when your iPhone is low on charge, providing up to five hours of effortless travel. This feature is especially handy for those early morning commutes when holding up the line is the last thing you want to do.
To explore more useful iPhone features, take a look at our article on the hidden iOS 17 setting that enhances iPhone performance, and the iPhone trick that aids better sleep.