Survey: Half of US commuters would use their mobile phone for transit payments

The introduction of open loop “tap and go” payments could cut commuting time by nearly an hour a week, a survey conducted for MasterCard has found, and 47% of commuters would be willing to use their mobile phone to make transit payments.

SURVEY: 'Tap and go' payments could save commuters nearly an hour a week

A survey conducted for MasterCard has found that many of the top frustrations cited by US commuters are to do with how they pay and that the majority recognise the benefits contactless payments can provide to improve the commuting experience.

The survey found that:

  • 65% of US commuters who use cash to pay for mass transit worry about not having enough on hand to pay for their trip and 36% have been unable to take mass transit at some time because they did not have enough cash on hand.
  • 44% have missed a bus, train or subway while waiting in line to buy or add money to a fare card.
  • 42% of those who use cash for mass transit say worrying about needing correct change is one of their top frustrations when paying for their commute.
  • 75% wish there was one payment card that could be used to access all mass transit systems near or within their local city.
  • 66% say they would be likely to use a tap-and-go payment method to pay for mass transit if it were an option.
  • 47% say they would use their mobile phone to pay for mass transit.
  • Survey respondents estimated they could shave nearly an hour a week (an average 11 minutes per day) from their commute if they were able to use some form of tap-and-go payment.
  • 31% say they feel they spend too much time waiting in line to buy or add money to their fare card, 43% feel the ticketing machines are often slow, out of order or difficult to use and 26% are frustrated by the process they must go through to replace a lost fare card. 21% have been frustrated by not knowing where or how to pay in unfamiliar mass transit systems.
  • Major benefits seen by respondents for tap-and-go payments included easier transferring between different types of mass transit (64%), easier payments in unfamiliar stations (65%) and reducing lines and speeding passage through transportation centres (59%).

“From our survey, we know that commuters want a better way to buy their fare and open loop contactless payment options such as MasterCard PayPass eliminate the need to wait in line, fumble for exact change or carry multiple fare cards so that it easier to board and be on your way,” says MasterCard’s Catherine Murchie.

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