TransLink targets 2022 to start debit tap-to-pay option

Nov. 23, 2021
The agency is working with Cubic and Interac to expand contactless fare payment options at Compass readers throughout the network.

TransLink will bring new contactless fare payment options to customers throughout Metro Vancouver in 2022. The agency is working with Interact Corp., and Cubic Transportation Systems to offer the use of Interac Debit as a way to tap-to-pay at Compass readers throughout the network.

“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,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn.

TransLink explains the addition of Interac Debit will broaden fare payment options and convenience for TransLink customers, casual transit riders, as well as area visitors by eliminating the need to use a Compass Vending Machine or pre-purchase a Compass Card.

While the benefits of the expanded contactless payment option are clear to the project partners, upgrades to more than 5,000 Compass readers across the network will be needed to ensure compatibility with Interac Debit payments. Cubic Transportation Systems, which designed and built TransLink’s Compass system, is working with the agency and Interact to upgrade the readers over the next year.

“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,” said Matt Newsome, senior vice president and general manager, Cubic Transportation Systems Americas.

Once the infrastructure is upgraded and the integration is complete, TransLink fares can be paid with several contactless options including Interact Debit, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay Wallet. No matter which payment option customer’s select, TransLink offers a reminder to tap a card or smartphone rather than a wallet to avoid card clash.

“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,” said Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp., William Keliehor.  

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