Back on track: Visa’s new study shows 88 percent of surveyed riders expect contactless option on transit

July 30, 2021
Visa helps launch global projects to bring contactless payments to riders and announces its new Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum.

Findings were released from Visa’s “Future of Urban Mobility” study, which surveyed 9,000 adults in nine countries to examine commuters’ post-pandemic transit plans and priorities, including mask wearing and contactless payments.

Now, as vaccinations become more readily available, some cities have started to get back to a sense of normalcy. The gradual push toward reopening has sparked people to prepare for a return to many of their pre-COVID-19 routines. According to Visa’s survey, 84 percent of respondents who have decreased their ridership since the start of the pandemic plan to use public transit at the same level they did pre-pandemic.

While riders are ready to get back on track, expectations for their transportation experiences have changed. In many communities, mask-wearing, social distancing and contactless tickets and payments have become the norm, and the data suggests many of these behaviors and expectations are here to stay.

Passengers are putting safety first

Visa’s Future of Urban Mobility Survey found that 68 percent of surveyed respondents are very likely to wear a mask on public transit regardless of current guidelines, and 38 percent want to reduce contact with common surfaces whenever possible.

Tap to Pay is here to stay

Contactless payments have emerged as the method of choice for consumers looking for more touchless interactions in their daily lives. According to the survey, nine out of 10 riders (88 percent) expect their local transit systems to offer a contactless option for payments and ticketing.

A green generation embraces public transport

Most young adults conscious of sustainability efforts incorporate public transit as part of their sustainable lifestyles. Commuting has become an important facet of the everyday lives of younger generations. Re-imagining a transit system that aligns with the needs and values of Gen Z and millennial riders will be vital to getting back to pre-COVID-19 levels of travel.

More than a third (35 percent) of Gen Z respondents identified public transportation as their main method of transportation, more than any other generation. And more than half (53 percent) of millennials reported using public transit as their primary method of transportation for getting to and from work, as well as running everyday errands (52 percent).

Global momentum

As transit riders prepare to return, Visa says it has been helping drive growth and accelerate new projects and partnerships designed to bring contactless payments to the forefront of every transit rider’s experience.

In order to address the bigger need for accelerated global accessibility of open loop transport payment systems, Visa has joined forces with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) to create the Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum. The new forum will be aimed at helping cities create efficient, inclusive and sustainable door-to-door travel experiences, enabled by simple, convenient and secure open loop payments systems.