South Western Railway Touch Smartcard Tap2Go

Tap2Go terms and conditions


Your South Western Railway (“SWR”) Touch Smartcard and Tap2Go account are issued subject to the following Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions set out your rights and obligations.

Your Smartcard is issued free of charge and remains the property of SWR.

We reserve the right to withdraw the Touch Smartcard or Tap2Go account at any time.

The conditions of use for your Touch Smartcard can be found here.

Any ticket that you buy and use for travel on a Touch Smartcard is issued subject to the National Rail Conditions of Travel and Railway Byelaws. Further details and a copy of these conditions are available at Tickets stored on a Touch Smartcard are subject to normal refund rules in accordance with the National Rail Conditions of Travel (NRCoT).

Please note that railway staff or agents have no authority to make individual exceptions to the NRCoT, Railway Byelaws or any of the additional Terms or Conditions contained or referenced within this document.

Tap2Go Terms and Conditions of use

October 2022 until further notice

  1. Registering for Tap2Go
    1. You will need to register for Tap2Go through your SWR account. If you have more than one smartcard in your account, please note that Tap2Go can only be loaded onto one Touch Smartcard and that card must belong to the account holder (rather than dependents for example). Tap2Go can either be loaded to an existing SWR Touch Smartcard or you can request a new one.
    2. A valid debit or credit card must be associated with your account. You must also agree to a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA) via your payment card. A CPA is an agreement between you and us that authorises us to withdraw money from your account via your payment card without having to seek individual repeated consents from you.
      By using Tap2Go on your Touch Smartcard you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions of use and providing consent for us to deduct automatic payment from your payment card using CPA.
    3. You must keep your credit or debit card details up to date. The payment card associated with your account may be changed at any time. If your details are not up to date and failed payments occur, we will notify you via email to ask for the details to be updated and payment to be made. We may try and debit your payment card at a later stage on more than one occasion.
    4. You must ensure there are sufficient funds available in your nominated payment card account to cover Tap2Go charges payable to us. Your Tap2Go account will be closed and legal action taken to recover any amounts owed following three consecutive failed payment requests.
    5. If we are unable to take payment from your nominated payment card and you continue to make journeys using Tap2Go, you are still liable to pay any fares accrued and we may take steps to recover debts owed.
    6. When you register for your Tap2Go account an initial charge of £1.00 is required to pre-authorise your payment card. This ensures that the payment card is genuine and allows a continuous payment authority (CPA) to be established for charging future transactions to the card. This £1.00 initial fee will be refunded to the payment card the following day if no travel has occurred in the same period. If you travel on the same day, the £1.00 will be credited towards your first journey.
    7. If you already have a smartcard and you add Tap2Go to it, you must collect it within 30 days from your nominated station, touching your card on the yellow smartcard reader, otherwise you will need to register again; or
    8. If you order a new smartcard with Tap2Go already loaded, you must use/activate it within 30 days of sign up otherwise you will need to register again.
    9. In order to activate your Tap2Go account, in accordance with condition 1.8 above, you must tap in at a station within the SWR Tap2Go area (highlighted green on the Tap2Go map).
  2. Tap2Go Account Management
    1. When your account balance falls below zero, we will make a payment request to cover the journeys made. The threshold of the account is zero therefore we will not charge any amount that brings your balance above zero.
    2. Any additional credit will be refunded to the registered payment card linked to your account, bringing your account balance to £0.00.
    3. If we are unable to refund the credit balance back to the payment card associated with your account, we will offer you an alternative option for instance, holding a positive balance on your Tap2Go account, an e-voucher or cheque. E-vouchers will be applicable only to the Touch Smartcard user’s online account for use against ticket purchases through the website. Cheques are made payable to the registered Smartcard user and posted to the address associated with the Smartcard.
  3. Using Tap2Go
    1. Your Tap2Go Touch Smartcard can only be used on South Western Railway (“SWR”) operated services within the Tap2Go network area except for the scenario set out in condition 3.2 below. This includes Island Line services. If a journey begins or ends outside of the Tap2Go network, the journey will be considered invalid and incomplete.
    2. Your Tap2Go Touch Smartard may be used to travel on Southern services between Dorking and London Victoria or London Bridge, including all intermediate stations. Please note that weekly capping is currently not available on stations including and between Dorking and Epsom.
    3. Tap2Go is not currently available for travel using services operated by Transport for London (TfL). You can only use Tap2Go as far as London Waterloo, it cannot be used to travel to any other London Terminal except as set out in condition 3.2 above.
    4. Tap2Go is not valid for travel on ferry or hovercraft services between the mainland and the Isle of Wight.
    5. You must always tap in at the start and tap out at the end of your journey by placing your Touch Smartcard on the card reader at gatelines or using a platform validator.
    6. The act of tapping-in your SWR Touch Smartcard creates a contractual relationship between you and the relevant participating operator, whereby you agree to pay the ‘Best Day Fare’ (see how this is calculated at condition 6 below) and the relevant participating operator agrees to facilitate your travel for that particular journey. Tapping-out concludes your journey and the contractual relationship associated with it.
  4. If you decide not to travel
    1. If you decide not to travel, for example due to disruption or cancelled trains after you have tapped in at the station, you will need to tap out again within 15 minutes. If you tap in and then out again outside of 15 minutes, you may be liable for an incomplete journey charge.
  5. Incomplete journeys

    An incomplete journey occurs when:

    • You travel using Tap2Go outside the Tap2Go network area described in condition 3 and/or;
    • You do not touch in at the start of your journey and/or touch out at the end of your journey.

    1. If you do not touch in or out, no fare can be calculated. We will contact you via email to ask that you complete the journey via your account. You can do this by adding missing ‘taps’ to an incomplete journey, you should do this as soon as possible following it’s occurrence. You can take this action up to 3 times in a 28 day period after which time you will need to contact customer services. You may be asked to provide a reason why you were not able to tap in or tap out on your Journey.
    2. If you do not tap in and out when you travel and do not subsequently complete your journey as per condition 5.1 above, you may be charged an incomplete journey charge of £25 per journey.
    3. Where possible, we will auto-complete incomplete journeys up to 3 times in a 28-day period based on your previous journey history, further failures to complete a journey may result in an incomplete journey charge.
    4. Failure to tap in or out on 4 or more occasions may result in account closure.
    5. You have until the Wednesday following the date of travel to complete your journey. After this time, your journey can no longer be amended and any incomplete journey charge applied to your account will stand.
    6. If there is a delay in tap data being received by our system which can lead to your fare being incorrectly calculated or incomplete journey notifications sent, we will automatically amend your Tap2Go charges as necessary once the information is received.
  6. Fares for Tap2Go
    1. At the end of each day, all your journeys will be assessed to calculate the best fare (see how we calculate the best daily fare conditions 6.3 and 6.4 below). These journeys will then be charged to the registered payment card the day after travel. In the event that you hold a positive balance on your account, this will be refunded back to your nominated bank card to ensure the account returns to £0.00. The exception to this is if the Tap2Go account has been manually adjusted by SWR in the case of an incorrect fare being charged (see 9.0 below). In order to calculate the best fare, you must tap in and out. If you do not, you may be charged the £25 incomplete journey charge, unless conditions 5.1 or 5.3 apply.
    2. You are liable to pay the relevant fares for all journeys taken using your Touch Smartcard, as registered through your account to use Tap2Go via the CPA on your registered payment card.
    3. The Best Day Fare offer is based on tickets that can be bought on the day of travel. We will charge you the cheapest fare available on your particular day, and route, of travel based upon the taps you have made on your journey and the journey length, to calculate the route you took. Fares are based on paper equivalent tickets defined as:

      i. Standard Anytime Single & Return (Peak)
      ii. Standard Off Peak Single & Return (Off Peak)
      iii. Super Off Peak Day Single & Return (Super Off Peak/Evening Out)
      iv. Weekly Season Ticket
      v. Oyster fares for journeys made wholly within the London zones 1-6. Where journeys occur within the London zones 1-6, journeys will be price matched with the equivalent Oyster zone day fare or day Travelcard price for journeys that begin or end outside the London area. When a Journey is made within the Tap2Go area, your rail Journeys will be reviewed and the best fare calculated on your behalf.

    4. It should be noted that weekly season Travelcard ticket fares made wholly within the London zones 1-6 will not be in scope for the weekly capping offer. Instead customers would be capped at the relevant point to point fare, e.g. Surbiton to London Terminals rather than Surbiton to zones 1-6.
    5. The fare calculation will take into account any tickets you may have used through your SWR Touch Smartcard. We will continually review all of your travel undertaken during each Monday to Sunday travel period, and identify where a weekly ticket can be charged in place of additional daily tickets, in order to provide you with the best fare for that travel period.
    6. Child discounts and boundary fares are not currently available on journeys made using Tap2Go.
    7. Break of journey is available whilst using Tap2Go, the best daily fare will be calculated.
    8. Period returns are not available. If you travel out on day one and return on day two, you will be charged a single fare for each journey.
    9. First Class travel is not available when using Tap2Go. You will need to purchase a separate ticket when traveling in First Class.
    10. Each time you tap out at a station, the journey will be considered completed, unless you tap in and continue your journey within 4 hours and 36 minutes – in this instance we will calculate the best daily fare for the journeys completed.
    11. The following Railcard Discounts can be added to your Tap2Go account using the ‘My Account’ functionality:

      • 16-17 Saver
      • 16-25 Railcard
      • 26-30 Railcard
      • Annual Goldcard
      • Disabled Persons Railcard
      • HM Forces Railcard
      • Network Railcard
      • Senior Railcard
      • Veterans Railcard
      • Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card

      Please note Railcard discounts are only available for the card holder when using SWR Tap2Go, they are not available for accompanying travellers e.g. Family & Friends Railcard; Two Together; GroupSave and additional passengers with a Network Railcard.
    12. A maximum of 2 railcards can be added.

      Using Tap2Go on your Touch Smartcard with other pre-purchased tickets
      You can hold pre-purchased tickets such as season tickets, singles and returns along with Tap2Go on the same SWR Touch Smartcard, with the exception of Flexi Season tickets. You must always tap in and tap out for each journey you make to avoid an incomplete journey charge (see 5.2 above).
    13. You must keep your credit or debit card details up to date. The payment card associated with your account may be changed at any time. If your details are not up to date and failed payments occur, we will notify you via email to ask for the details to be updated and payment to be made. We may try and debit your payment card at a later stage on more than one occasion.
    14. Season tickets: Where a journey is made that is covered by your season ticket, no charge will be made through Tap2Go. If you travel outside the validity of the ticket within the Tap2Go network area, you will be charged the appropriate fare for that part of the journey through your Tap2Go account.
    15. Daily tickets: Where a journey is made that is covered by a pre-purchased single or return ticket, no charge will be made through Tap2Go. If you travel outside the validity of the ticket within the Tap2Go network area, you will be charged the appropriate fare for that part of the journey through your Tap2Go account. However, please be aware that if you break your journey between the origin and destination of your single or return ticket, the location where you break your journey may not be recognised resulting in an additional charge covering the same journey. Please contact our Customer Services Team on 0345 6000 650 if you experience this.
    16. Flexi Season: Tap2Go and Flexi Season should not be loaded onto the same SWR Touch Smartcard. We strongly recommend that a separate SWR Touch Smartcard is used for each product, this will allow you to choose the correct product for your journey.
  7. Inspection
    1. In addition to touching in and out when you start, finish or break your journeys, you must produce your Touch Smartcard when asked to do so for inspection. The Touch Smartcard will be checked for any valid tickets. If you don’t tap in at the start of your journey, no valid ticket will be displayed, and you may be liable to pay a penalty fare for travelling without a ticket.
  8. Forgotten, lost or stolen smartcards
    1. The registered holder of the card is liable to pay the fare for all journeys made. If your Touch Smartcard is used by someone else, we will not be held liable for any journeys completed without your consent.
    2. If you have forgotten your Touch Smartcard, you must purchase a valid ticket to travel. If you have an additional season ticket on your Touch Smartcard that covers the journey you are making, you may be entitled to a refund of a single or day return fare purchased.
    3. If you lose your Touch Smartcard, you must contact the Customer Services Team on 0345 6000 650 as soon as possible. Your card will be blocked to ensure it cannot be used by anyone else. A replacement Touch Smartcard will be issued with any products held preloaded. If you notice any charges made using your reported lost Touch Smartcard, you must notify the Customer Services Team on 0345 6000 650 immediately. We will refund you for any journeys made following contact to report the loss.
  9. Refunds
    1. If you believe you have been charged the wrong fare for the journeys completed, please contact our Customer Service team on 0345 6000 650. Any changes must be requested by the Wednesday following the date of travel, after this time changes will not be possible. If, upon investigation, we find that you were charged the wrong fare, we will adjust your account balance and your registered payment card will be refunded.
  10. Delay Repay compensation
    1. Delay Repay compensation is available when you are delayed by 15 minutes or more at your destination station. Claims can be made here.
  11. Closing your Tap2Go account
    1. You may close your Tap2Go account at any time by logging into your SWR account, navigating to your Tap2Go account and selecting “close account”. Alternatively you can contact our Customer Services team on 0345 6000 650. The Tap2Go product on your Touch Smartcard will be blocked to prevent further charges being applied, as well as finalising any outstanding tap data collected to apply a final charge and bring the account balance to zero. If, after account finalisation, you have credit in your account, this will be refunded to your payment card. Please be aware that the account closure process can take up to 11 days to allow for any outstanding taps to be collected and the final balance calculated.
    2. If we are unable to take final payment from your nominated payment card, we will contact you to update your payment details so that final payment can be made. Your Tap2Go account will not fully close until your balance is returned to zero.
    3. You may cancel your CPA directly with your bank instead of through your Tap2Go account. The Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance on cancelling CPAs is set out here. If you cancel the CPA in this way rather than through your Tap2Go account you may incur debt to us for journeys made using Tap2Go for which we cannot take payment. If you refuse to pay these when contacted, we may take legal action to recover any amounts due.
    4. Tap2Go account closure will not affect any other tickets stored on your Touch Smartcard.
  12. We may suspend or cancel your Touch Smartcard account in the following circumstances:
    1. If we believe your Touch Smartcard or Tap2Go account is being used in a way that is not permitted under these Conditions.
    2. If we believe that the right to use any number or password used in relation to your Touch Smartcard account is or has been gained by a third party or in an unauthorised, illegal, improper or fraudulent way.
    3. If we no longer hold valid payment card details associated to your account and are unable to take payment.
    4. If you register for Tap2Go but do not make your first Journey within six months.
    5. If we believe that you have paid us or are trying to pay us using a stolen or otherwise barred or false debit or credit card or if the debit or credit card transaction is at some time charged back to us.
    6. If you tell us that your Touch Smartcard has been lost or stolen.
    7. If you tamper with your Touch Smartcard in any way which damages or affects the operation or security of the the Touch Smartcard or Tap2Go system or the railway network.
    8. If we are permanently unable to provide the Tap2Go service to you or we choose to withdraw it.
    9. If the emergency services or any regulatory authority tell us to cease to provide the Tap2Go service, or a law or regulation is passed which means we need to do so;
    10. If you cease to have a valid email address associated with your Account.
  13. We may contact you about your Tap2Go account for the following reasons:

    • Registration
    • Account Closure
    • Failure to load/collect the Tap2Go product when it has been ordered
    • Incomplete journey information (request to complete)
    • Autocomplete journey information (where we have completed a journey on your behalf)
    • Successful payment
    • Payment failure
    • Update/expiry of payment card
    • Changes to our Tap2Go service/service interruption
    • Changes to these terms and conditions
    • Delay Repay (including Auto Delay Repay)

  14. Miscellaneous
    1. We will notify you of any planned outages of the Tap2Go service to ensure your journey is unaffected.
    2. If the Tap2Go network is unavailable for reasons out of our control, we will not be liable to pay compensation for a loss in service.
    3. You agree not to use Tap2Go for any purpose that is abusive, illegal, fraudulent, a nuisance or for criminal activities. We reserve the right to suspend or terminate the use of your Touch Smartcard if we have reasonable belief that it is being used for or in connection with any such activities.
    4. Tap2Go is for use only by the registered user of the relevant Touch Smartcard. The Touch Smartcard and/or Tap2Go may not be used for reward or hire.
    5. We may make changes to the Tap2Go services at any time and we can make changes to or introduce new terms to these terms and conditions at any time. If possible we will give reasonable notice of these changes. The changes will apply when we publish details of them in a way, which we consider is reasonable, for example by displaying messages on our website, your online account or contacting you directly at your registered email address.
    6. We will be legally responsible to you if our negligence causes death or personal injury. We will not be legally responsible to you for any, whether direct or indirect:

      • loss of income or profit;
      • loss of use of the Tap2Go service;
      • lost business or missed opportunities; or
      • any loss or damage that is not directly caused by us or which we did not reasonably expect at the time you entered into this agreement.

    7. Our maximum liability to you under these Conditions will be to refund the balance on your Touch Smartcard account on the date our dispute with you is settled.
    8. These terms and conditions of use are governed by English law and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.