Curve Metal on TFL readers

I wondered if anyone else is having trouble with using contactless with Curve Metal on TFL Oyster readers? I’ve had my card replaced once to try and deal with the problem, and whilst it improved, I still have problems. I’ve noticed there are particular readers at some stations that are more or less reliable than others, and buses in particular I’ve ended up holding up a queue of people pretty regularly.

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Are you putting the metal side or the plastic side to the reader?

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The plastic side. I’ve been through Curve’s support process, including which side of the card to use, bending the card slightly when making contact, etc with this (twice) before being sent a replacement card. I’ve never had problems with any other form of contactless payment using the card, it’s purely on tfl readers, and I wondered if anyone else had the same problem.

8 posts were split to a new topic: X Pay vs physical card

Do you get any error number, or does the card reader just fail to react? The most common error that I experience is 99, which has happened even with physical cards since I was on the contactless trial in 2014, but also 71, which means card clash, even when no other card is nearby.

I don’t have metal, but have found my plastic curve cards to have terrible contactless

My first card wouldnt work at all with some contactless readers, and otherwise would take a long time to read. I asked for a replacement, which was much better but still noticeably less responsive than any other contactless card I have.

Maybe this is a wider issue?

I have had problems with several payment wearables on TFL readers - it seems that the performance really varies with some terminals not working at all - including ‘card clash’ error.
I haven’t tried using my Curve metal card on the TFL network but wouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t work too well - given that the read range on regular POS terminals is fairly low.

So IMO two separate problems - firstly the short read range of curve metal, secondly, the fact the some TFL terminals just don’t seem to play well with contactless devices that aren’t a ‘standard’ plastic contactless card.

Incidentally, it would be interesting to know if curve metal cards passed EMV testing / relevant approvals from Mastercard…

I’ve had problems with standard plastic contactless cards since I was on TfL’s contactless trial in 2014. The errors, most often error 99, have continued since then with mutliple plastic cards as well as Apple Pay on an iPhone and Apple Watch. You just have to touch again, but the problem with Curve metal cards described above is different; there is no response from the card reader and therefore no error.

Thanks for update
Do you know what ‘error 99’ is?

Agreed that the problem with curve metal cards is different (no response) - but I would still consider that an error of sorts. Perhaps this is just semantics though - ‘error/problem’.

Given that you were involved in TFL’s contactless trial, do or did you have a contact there who could answer queries / give input on issues?

I most frequently get either a 99 or a complete lack of response. I also occasionally get a 70 or 91, which don’t really make sense, but I’m assuming is down to a misreading of the card. I have also noticed that there are particular “good” and “bad” terminals at some stations, and will now queue for longer to use a reliable one at my local station!

On Curve Black (before metal launched) I’d occasionally get an error, but it was very rare, whereas it’s now a daily (or more) occurrence.

There’s a list at

No and the trial ended years ago anyway.

I was looking to find threads about the contactless not working, as mine doesn’t work on almost any machine, in any shop, anywhere. Once in a blue moon it surprises me by actually working, but now I just automatically do chip and pin everywhere cos it never works.

Hey, I’ve recently upgraded to Metal and am finding a lot of problems getting TfL readers to register (no issues previously). Biggest problem on buses, with plastic Covid sheeting meaning card is sometimes quite far away from reader. Either doesn’t recognise the card at all, says card not read, says I’m using 2 cards at once (when the card is the only thing in my hand). V frustrating, lots of eyerolling from other pax and drivers. Is there a simple fix? (yes, I’m putting plastic side down, etc)