Consumer Payment Card News

Transit Tap the Newest Dance for NYC Straphangers

NYC Transit Tap

Transit Tap is the newest dance for New York City (NYC) straphangers as the OMNY (One Metro New York) fare system pilot has launched at 16 stations along the Lexington Avenue line, from Grand Central Terminal to the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center station.

The OMNY system, developed by Cubic, under a long-term deal, features mobile and open payments via contactless bankcards and mobile wallets. Bus and subway riders simply tap a payment card or a payments-enabled device such as a phone, watch, iPad, etc. against a screen.

The New York news media is reporting more than 6,000 “taps” on Saturday, June 1st, the first full day of operation.

Transit Tap In – MetroCard Out

Mastercard is bringing back its Fareback Fridays for June and July. American Express, extremely popular in NYC, says it will make all of its cards contactless or tap enabled starting in July. Chase and Visa set up a “Visa Tap Room” to help riders better understand the next generation system.

The new fare payment system is the first phase of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) public pilot launch of the OMNY fare payment system.The system will be expanded to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and the Metro-North Railroad (MNR) during later phases. OMNY will operate in parallel with the MetroCard system until its retirement in 2023.

Cubic says its MTA contract is 69 months with services and options extending for an additional 15 years.

Free Transit Taps

Mastercard announced the Mastercard Fareback Friday program. Cardholders who tap to pay for their subway ride at any station between 42nd Street – Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclay’s Center along the 4, 5 and 6 lines will get a refund on their fare. Commuters will be eligible to receive a maximum refund of up to $5.50 (equivalent to two rides) every Friday during June and July.

Mastercard also announced when cardholders use their cards to tap and pay in the subway, or at merchants that accept contactless payments in the city, they will be eligible to receive Mastercard Priceless Surprises.  These surprises include unique entertainment, sports and culinary experiences in New York City.

American Express announced, beginning in July, all newly issued and replacement U.S. American Express Consumer Cards will be contactless. The contactless feature is now available on all U.S. American Express Consumer Cards upon request through, the Amex Mobile App, or by phone.

Visa released a survey showing 67% of MTA riders have missed a train while waiting in line to reload a transit card. Eight out of ten NewYorkers surveyed said they have had trouble getting their transit card to work at the turnstile. And two-thirds (66%) have left or forgotten funds on a transit card, at an average of $35.10 lost.

Transit Tap Room

Visa and Chase showcased how riders can tap to ride using Chase Visa contactless cards at The Visa Tap Room, an interactive event featuring a special performance by Liam Payne and appearances by football stars Eli Manning and Sterling Shepard.

Cardless World

“Swipe, Dip or Tap” are the new payment buzz words and it has been an exciting ride observing how quickly technology is advancing payments after a 15-year bumpy ride, notes CardTrak, CardFlash and CardData Senior Analyst Robert McKinley. However, a cardless world is just around the corner.