Visa has just rolled out a new pilot program that allows New Yorkers to pay subway, bus and train fares with a wave of their iPhones.
New York City Transit, NJ TRANSIT and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are participating in the pilot program. As part of the program, Visa is testing both payment cards and Visa payWave-enabled smartphones.
Rather than having to buy or refill a Metro card, travelers can just wave their phones in front of a contactless reader.
As we reported last month, Visa is also working with Bank of America to bring smartphone payments to retailers in New York City.
Smartphones that are equipped with a special sensor can transmit payment information to contactless card readers at fare gates. Not only does this help people get through transit stations more quickly; it also eliminates the need to buy a transit card or dig around in your purse for your existing pass.
Beyond New York, Visa is also working with LA Metro to bring TAP ReadyCARD dual-use prepaid Visa cards that act as both transit tickets and Visa debit cards.
Internationally, Visa has been deploying its payWave technology in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Paris, Istanbul and London.
The New York subway program is only deployed across 28 stops along the Lexington subway line; but if it is successful, we might see this feature rolled out across the wider system.
Frankly, as someone who frequently loses or misplaces transit cards, having the option to just wave my smartphone to pay my fare sounds incredible. Even better than getting to use this feature for a train, using the system on the bus would make getting around much faster. Would you like to be able to pay for transit tickets by waving your phone? Let us know.