Visa study: Transit payment practices becoming more contactless

July 12, 2022
In a second annual study, transit riders expect more contactless fare payment options, but faster travel times and better reliability are greater draws to use transit.

Visa released the results of its second “Future of Urban Mobility Survey” and reports “the speed, security and ease of digital payments have helped shift global consumers’ payment preferences.”

The survey involved 11,550 adults who take transit in 14 global markets including in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, United Kingdom, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The survey found 45 percent of respondents prefer to pay for transit with contactless payments and 91 percent strongly or somewhat expect contactless payment options to be available. This is a slight increase over last year’s survey where 88 percent of respondents expected their local transit systems to offer a contactless option for payment.

Visa explains those with time-pressed lifestyles tend to want contactless payments. Survey respondents cited convenience (44 percent), fast transactions (40 percent), less worry about cash on hand (38 percent) and reduced contact (35 percent) as benefits to using contactless payment options.

Fare-capped rides would encourage 61 percent of respondents to ride more often. However, fare-capped payments were fourth of top elements that would entice respondents behind faster journey times (43 percent), more reliable schedules/timing (41 percent) and more available routes (30 percent).

Similar to last year’s survey, sustainability was a strong motivator for respondents’ use of transit. More than one in three respondents said sustainability was the top reason and 88 percent of respondents saying it was a factor in their decisions to use transit.

“Open transit systems help city residents sustain their livelihoods, connect to services and pursue activities that create a vibrant city life. Visa supports global transit operators to deliver digital tools to draw in more passengers and improve the overall experience,” the company said.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.