Tap and Ride

Mobile devices now account for almost half of the globe’s Internet traffic, and their use for contactless payment is also on a dramatic rise.

While a number of mass transportation systems around the world have had their own mobile apps for fare payment for a while, there are now systems that accept payment directly from Apple Wallet and/or Google Pay. This is convenient for passengers who are short-term visitors, multi-destination travelers, or just prefer this method where available. Apple provides a list of compatible transportation systems here, and Google Pay provides one here.

Here’s how to use this type of payment:

Make sure your operating system is up to date.
This is important not only for functionality, but also for transaction security.

Make sure your transportation accepts the payment method. 
It’s important to be aware that in some cases — for example, New York City — contactless mobile device payment is only available in some parts of the overall system.

Add a payment method to your device.
Instructions for Apple Wallet here.
Instructions for Google Pay here.

When you approach the transit system entrance, wake up your device.
Hold your device near the screen. You may be required to provide your passcode or ID.
Proceed when you see payment has been accepted.

If you don’t want to take your mobile phone out of your pocket, smart watches that have access to Apple Wallet or Google Pay can often be used instead.

In some transportation systems, those with an iPhone 6S or better can even set up their mobile devices to automatically authorize fare payment, without needing to wake the device up or provide passcode/ID. Apple provides a setup guide for this here.

Some preparation now can pay off significantly over time, as these innovations continue to take hold. Mobile device payment offers contactless convenience that’s often more secure than its card or cash-based predecessors. These are qualities that appeal to many consumers, whether they are globally mobile or not.

Written by Erin Fitzgerald, GMS, Content Manager