Whether it’s a train to go to work, a bus to visit family or a metro to see a museum, public transport is a sustainable way of getting around town (without the need for cash as a "travel partner").

Because it’s easy, fast and efficient, contactless payment is being accepted by more services, including public transport. Now, thousands of people will no longer need to pay their fares in cash

Over time, more train, metro and bus services have started taking contactless payment. According to Statista, this extraordinarily fast trend is bound to benefit many of the 4.2 billion users of public transport worldwide in 2022. 

It only requires a card or an electronic device that is linked to a bank account and has near field communications (NFC) technology, which makes instant payments with just a tap on a point-of-sale (POS) terminal. 

Common contactless payment systems are: 

  • Debit and credit cards, which don’t require pre-configuration. Simply tap it on the POS terminal to make your purchase. 
  • Smartphones, by opening your digital banking app or virtual wallet (like Apple Pay or Google Pay) and selecting a card to pay with. Banks have several ways to confirm payment, such as fingerprint and facial recognition and one-time PINs. 
  • Smartwatches, which are becoming more popular. They can not only count your steps and display text messages but also hold your bank cards right on your wrist. Just open your payment app on your smartwatch and tap it on a POS. Your bank or your device may require you to enter a security code. 
  • Bracelets (though less common) are offered by some banks, usually as a stored-value payment (“prepaid”) device. They may charge an issuance and maintenance fee and can be topped up at branches, ATMs and online. 

Contactless has gone beyond paying a fare on public transport. It’s also become a quick, easy and safe way to pay for things at shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses.  

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