contactless payments
North America Paytech

Canadians Call For Contactless Payments For Public Transit

Nearly seven in 10 Canadians say contactless payments would make paying for transit quicker and more convenient, reveals a new study by interbank network Interac.

Daily ridership has fallen by around 44 per cent since the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting the need for new contactless payment options where the rider can pay their fare without using tokens, tickets or passes.

According to Interac’s research, the rider experience needs to become more seamless in order to entice Canadians to return to transit post-pandemic.

“Reducing fare friction, and specifically removing the obstacle of obtaining and loading dedicated transit passes on an ongoing basis, is one important factor when it comes to improving the customer journey,” said Andrew Yablonovsky, associate vice-president, product strategy and growth, Interac. “As the transportation sector moves to adopt contactless payments, debit has an important role to play in helping to make transit more accessible for Canadians who don’t have access to credit or want flexibility in how they pay for their trips.”

Additional findings

More than eight in 10 Canadians surveyed (83 per cent) bring their bank card with them whenever they leave home, and two thirds of transit users (67 per cent) suggest they would be likely to pay for transit by tapping their debit or credit card, if the option was available.

While more than half of Canadians participants (52 per cent) view transit use as being important for economic recovery. Seven in 10 surveyed (69 per cent) believe it would be easier for visitors to pay for transit using their bank card as opposed to tickets, tokens or passes.

Eight in 10 (82 per cent) Canadians agree that paying for transit should be as easy as buying a cup of coffee.

Interac is working within the transit ecosystem to support the introduction of contactless debit payments. When transit authorities add Interac Debit they are offering their riders a form of payment that almost 30 million Canadians already use for day-to-day purchases. The company has recently partnered with Moneris, which became the first acquirer in Canada to process Interac Debit for open loop payments.

Interac Debit is also now accepted on UP Express in Toronto offering riders a contactless payment option, and Translink in Metro Vancouver will soon enable Interac Debit into that network’s payment system.

“In the not-too-distant future, we hope that Canadians could have the option to use multiple means of public transportation in a seamless journey by making one single payment – for example integrating ride- or bike-sharing services with buses, trains, subways and other modes of transportation,” Yablonovsky said. “Digital payments will be important to developing these multi-modal mobility services to meet the future needs of Canadians.”

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