Tap and Pay hitches a ride on Big Apple subway and bus routes

Tap and Pay hitches a ride on Big Apple subway and bus routes

New York commuters will soon be able to skip the long lines to buy or reload their MetroCards with the roll out of a new 'tap and pay' option on subways and bus routes at the end of the month.

Dubbed Omny, the new fare payment option from New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), will allow passengers to use their debit and credit cards and mobile wallets to pay for their ride.

The roll out will be limited at first to the 4/5/6 subway lines between Grand Central Station in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn for single ride fares. Buses in the New York borough of Staten Island will also let passengers pay with such cards.

The system is expected to be available across all subway stations and bus routes by late-2020.

Developed by Cubic, the MTA is the first US transit agency to implement contactless payments using Visa’s global transit framework. The Chase merchant services team also worked on the creation and implementation of the new payment system.

Today, about 20 million Chase customers have Visa contactless credit cards, and contactless debit cards are on track for this summer.

“Customers have been quick to adopt tap to pay and we’ve already seen it exceeding digital wallet use for customers who have contactless cards,” says Abeer Bhatia, president of Card Marketing, Pricing and Innovation at Chase. “Now they will be able to tap to pay for their daily transit needs, and experience how quick and easy it is to checkout thanks to contactless cards.”

The arrival of the system in New York and other mass transit centres across the US is likely to spur demand for the full-scale implementation of contactless payments by the major banks. As with the experience in London, tap and pay passenger payments can also provide a filip to mobile payment uptake. Apple has already committed to enabling Apple Pay on the Apple Watch or iPhone for Omny by summer.

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