Contactless payments key to increasing public transit ridership, Interac survey reveals

This is especially important for post-pandemic economic recovery, the study states

Presto Contactless payments

A new survey reveals contactless payments could be the missing boost needed to increase public transit ridership in Canada.

Conducted by Interac, the survey found more than two-thirds of Canadians (68 percent) believe this method of payment would make it easier and quicker to pay for transit. 37 percent of respondents also said a dedicated transit card or app is inconvenient.

In order to entice people to use public transit, consumer experience needs to improve, Andrew Yablonovsky, associate vice-president of product strategy and growth at Interac, said. This is especially important post-pandemic.

“Right now, transit is seeing a slow post-pandemic recovery with daily ridership having dropped by approximately 44 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic. This can have consequences for our economy since it stands to benefit from greater transit ridership.”

Yablonovsky says contactless payments reduce “fare friction” by eliminating obstacles that come with transit passes, such as continually reloading them with funds.

The study found more than 83 percent of Canadians bring their bank cards whenever they leave home. Furthermore, 67 percent of transit users say they would like to pay for transit through these cards.

This is possible for some using the various transit services in the GTA, including GO Transit. Back in August, Metrolinx made it possible for users to pay fares by taping their credit cards, 

2,343 Canadians were panelled for the survey Interac commissioned in August 2022.

Image credit: Metrolinx

Source: Interac