PRESTO’s contactless payment pilot update now allows anyone hopping on an UP Express train to tap their debit card and go.
A first for transit in Canada, riders can now use a physical debit card or a debit card on their mobile phone or smartwatch wallet to tap and pay for Up Express at PRESTO machines. Acceptable debit cards include Interac Debit, Visa Debit, and Mastercard Debit cards.
It’s important to note that riders who tap with a debit card may have a temporary $15 pre-authorization placed on the card at the beginning of the trip, even if the actual fare ends up being less than that. This amount may be held by the rider’s bank until PRESTO calculates the accurate fare and charges that to the rider’s account. The pre-authorization hold should be released within 24 hours, but transaction fees may also apply, Metrolinx says.
The newest addition comes several months after PRESTO began piloting contactless credit card payments for UP Express in March of this year. After further testing of the pilot program, Metrolinx hopes to roll out contactless payments to more transit lines.
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Riders can continue to use credit cards if they wish to do so, and older options like a PRESTO card or e-ticket.
In their announcement of the new tap addition, Metrolinx also reminded riders to be mindful when paying and ensure they are only tapping their chosen payment method onto the PRESTO machine. For example, if you want to tap with your phone, make sure you don’t have any credit or debit cards in its case.
Even when paying with a credit or debit card, riders still need to tap on and off, just as if they were paying with a PRESTO card. And if you tap on with a phone or watch, you’ll need to tap off with that same phone or watch.