If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Leap card intermittently not scanning

  • 23-03-2022 9:34am
    Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭

    My Leap card is frequently not scanning correctly so it cannot be read on the bus driver's machine. It has never happened on the bus door validator or on Irish Rail or Luas, but I use these less frequently. It is also very difficult to get it to read with my phone on the Leap Top Up app - it could take 20 attempts of "couldn't read NFC tag".

    This is a new card, ordered as a replacement around a month ago for a 10+ year old card that started to have this same problem over the past few months. This started to happen on the new card a couple of weeks ago.

    This problem is frustrating and embarrassing. I end up having to use the door validator and pay full fare for short trips.

    Is there anything I can do about this or does anyone have any idea why this would happen to two cards in quick succession? I store it in a card holder on its own for fear it's affected by other cards. It's in perfect condition, as was the one it replaced. (I take it out of the holder to scan it so that's not the issue either).


  • Registered Users Posts: 241 ✭✭DaBluBoi

    If you scan your leap card while it is in a wallet, it could be that any other card (credit, debit etc.) in said wallet is also being scanned, leading to that error. It certainly happened to me within the first few days of getting my wallet, until I noticed it

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭Hippodrome Song Owl

    Thanks for the response. Yeah I'm aware other cards can interfere. It's kept in its own holder with no other cards and I take it out completely to scan it.

    Post edited by Hippodrome Song Owl on

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭Hippodrome Song Owl

    This problem is ongoing and honestly I have no idea what to do to resolve it!

    This morning the card just would not read on the DB driver's machine no matter what I did. When I held it to the door validator there was a delay and the screen said "processing" then it beeped and deducted the €2.30 (had to overpay again). I have never noticed the door validator say "processing" before - is that normal?

    It's amazing how this is the second card that frequently cannot be read by the driver machine yet works ever time on the door and on Luas and Irish Rail.

  • Registered Users Posts: 471 ✭✭11wingnut

    i have at least 4 cards like that they are sh1t. i store with other cards but one wallet is enough you can get credit back on line .but cannot get anything for cards . They do not even have an office to call to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,714 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    er just replace it with a new one?

    get your credit back, or just wait till its depleted.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭Hippodrome Song Owl

    As I already said, this is the replacement. The previous card started having this issue so I applied for a new card with the credit transferred around 6 weeks ago. The new card is now having the same problem. How many more replacements am I likely to need before I find one that works?!

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional West Moderators Posts: 59,654 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gremlinertia

    Thank the fcukin deities i am not the only one. Card replaced three times, not abused in any way nor stored with other cards, top up is hilarious it's so bad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 317 ✭✭TranslatorPS

    I would not be surprised if your card issues aren't card issues, but simply a problem with the ancient TGX150 ticket machines used by Dublin Bus et al. Their software base is from the late 1990s, and their hardware capabilities not much better - perhaps the antennae are just dying in them by now, or the machines are getting clogged up in their ever-so-powerful 1 MB of RAM that they can barely dedicate any memory to scanning the card.

    I'd start noting the fleet numbers and spamming the Operators, laying the blame on the TGX150s directly in your correspondence, especially when you find yourself overpaying (that tends to get DB rolling at least).

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,384 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Always had problems with my annual leap cards. Constant errors at certain train stations. Carried a regular leap cards which never had a problem. Both in the same wallet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian

    I've been having the same problem recently, though I can't identify a trend over the last few weeks. I use buses only semi-regularly, and don't always need to request the lower fare on Dublin Bus. But it's happened to me where it wouldn't work at the drivers side and worked at the full fare scanner.

    As I don't want to pay full fare unnecessarily, I will just show my card is working with the leap app and insist on the correct fare being deducted, or no fare at all.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 11,384 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    I think some cards are just weaker and its only a problem on some scanners.

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭Hippodrome Song Owl

    Unfortunately my cards - both the old one and its new replacement - are also difficult to successfully scan with the Leap Top Up app. It usually takes several attempts to read the card with repeated "could not read NFC tag" errors.

    I just find this whole issue so frustrating. I use the bus several times every day, mostly short journeys. I suppose I will just have to try a third card.

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭Hippodrome Song Owl

    So I am now on Leap Card number 4 and this problem is still ongoing. Again today, forced to pay €2 instead of €1.30 as card could not be read by the driver's machine. He says the card must be faulty. No issue scanning at the door.

    Never an issue on Luas or Irish Rail either.

    Absolutely sick of the hassle of this!!

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Do you have anything that might be somehow burning the cards out? E.g. carried in a pocket with a phone constantly doing NFC comms to the card.

    There wouldn't be many people paying 1.30 if that is the specific fault, though, so there could be something else undetected.

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭Hippodrome Song Owl

    It's stored on its own in a travel card holder in the front pocket of a rucksack. Phone is sometimes in the bag - but in the laptop sleeve pocket at the back.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Well, as unlikely as that guess is, that should be quite safe. Mine is often in the same pocket as two phones that may be trying to talk to and its fine, its from 2019 too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭Pepsirebel

    Am I mad in thinking would public transport use the same tech shops use for tapping or google pay, etc. Is there something I can't see that's preventing it

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk

    Tap to pay as it is called is supposed to come as part of the Next Gen Ticketing project that the NTA are slowly working on.

    Requires new validators and maybe new ticket mahinces and definitely new backend infrastructure. I believe it is still a few years off and yes it is ridiculous that it is taking them so long to do this.