Contactless Payments: TransLink, Interac Corp., Cubic Transportation Systems to Integrate Interac Debit Option

TransLink clients should soon be able to use Interac Debit to “hop on transit.”

As mentioned in the announcement, TransLink, Interac Corp., and Cubic Transportation Systems are working cooperatively to “integrate Interac Debit onto the system to give customers more contactless payment options.”

By the end of next year, TransLink clients can make payments with Interac Debit at Compass readers on “any bus or fare gate across the system.” This puts TransLink “on pace to be the first transit agency in Canada to fully integrate Interac Debit contactless payments across a regional transit system,” the update noted.

As explained in a release, Tap to Pay provides casual transit riders and tourists “a convenient way to pay; allowing users to pay with Interac Debit directly to ride without pre-purchasing a Compass Card and without having to use an in-station Compass Vending Machine.” The addition of Interac Debit will further “broaden options and convenience for TransLink customers.”

The announcement further noted that more than 5,000 Compass readers across TransLink’s expansive network will “need to be upgraded to ensure compatibility with debit cards enabled with Interac Debit contactless payments.”

TransLink, Interac, and Cubic Transportation Systems – the firm that developed and built TransLink’s Compass system – are working to “upgrade the readers over the next year.”

Once integrated, clients can pay at Compass readers by using Interac Debit, in addition to other “already available contactless payment options like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay Wallet.”

TransLink reminds customers to “tap their card or smartphone when paying for transit and not their wallet, to avoid card clash when paying.”

Kevin Quinn, CEO, TransLink, stated:

“Integrating Interac Debit contactless payments across our system in Metro Vancouver is another way we’re making it easier for customers to take transit. TransLink was the first transit agency in Canada to commercially launch contactless credit card and mobile payments, and it’s important that we continue to be innovative to make transit an even more attractive transportation option.”

William Keliehor, CCO, Interac Corp., remarked:

“Partnering with TransLink to add Interac Debit contactless payments to Metro Vancouver’s transit fare reader system is the next big step to providing added convenience to all transit riders in the area. By offering Interac Debit, a form of payment that millions of Canadians already use for day-to-day purchases, transit authorities like TransLink are giving riders a contactless digital payment option which can help with the responsible post-COVID-19 recovery of transit networks in cities across the country.”

Matt Newsome, SVP and GM, CTS Americas, added:

“Since May 2018, customers have been able to pay with their contactless Mastercard and Visa credit cards on the Compass system, with American Express introduced in 2019, Interac Debit is the next step in the open payment evolution for Metro Vancouver transit riders. As a contactless debit system, Interac Debit is critical to maintaining social equity as an accessible form of payment for customers that do not have access to a credit card.”

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