If you ride transit in Ontario to get to work or school each day, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s now a new option for payment: transit riders in Ontario can now using Interac Debit to pay for rides.
Interac Debit is now available as a contactless payment option on PRESTO devices for customers on GO Transit, UP Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay in Mississauga, Oakville Transit, York Region Transit, and Para Transpo in Ottawa. Using Interac Debit, riders can pay for travel directly from their bank accounts versus requiring a credit card or having to purchase tickets or passes.
In 2021, Metrolinx became the first transit agency in Canada to offer Interac Debit as a contactless payment option, launching the UP express pilot on the PRESTO fare system to increase convenience for transit riders. In January 2023 TransLink became the first transit agency in Canada to fully integrate contactless Interac Debit payments systemwide. Metrolinx is working closely with the Toronto Transit Commission to implement these payment options for Toronto transit riders coming this summer.
“Expanding Interac Debit to more transit authorities in the PRESTO network will provide transit riders across Ontario with a quick and convenient option to pay for a ride directly from their banking account,” says William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp. “When transit authorities add Interac Debit, they are offering riders a payment that almost 30 million Canadians already use for day-to-day purchases. Interac is proud to play a part in supporting the needs of transit riders in Ontario.”
“We are thrilled to bring our customers yet another way to pay their transit fare with the addition of Interac Debit payment now accepted on PRESTO devices across participating transit agencies,” adds Barclay Hancock, Chief Payments Officer, Metrolinx. “This is just another way we continue to innovate the PRESTO payment experience and make is easier to travel seamlessly across the region.”
Continues Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation: “This latest milestone for the PRESTO system gives transit riders yet another convenient payment option when travelling for work, school, leisure, and more. The launch of debit card payment on PRESTO devices is just one more way our government is making the transit experience easier for Ontarians.”
The announcement supports regional data from a 2022 Interac Canada-wide survey, that found a growing number of Ontarians wanting more convenient contactless payment options for transit. According to the survey, 69% of Ontarians polled saw debit as a convenient way to pay for transit, and the same number claimed that tap payments would save time when paying fares.
Of those polled, 68% were interested in using debit or credit cards to pay for their trips if they had the option; and 72% believed it would be easier for visitors to pay for transit using their bank card as opposed to tickets, tokens, or passes.