SAN FRANCISCO, Sep 21, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) announced today that commuters in New York and Los Angeles can use the world's most popular way to pay - Visa - for bus, subway and train fares. In New York, Visa is allowing riders to pay using Visa payWave-enabled cards and mobile phones, while commuters in Los Angeles can use a special Visa prepaid card to ride the LA metro system.
The programs in New York and Los Angeles are part of Visa's long-term strategy of extending the speed, security and convenience of Visa acceptance to new locations. As part of this strategy, Visa has successfully brought payment services to commuters in the world's most populous areas, including Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Singapore, London and Paris.
In driving acceptance at the mass transit fare gate, Visa is providing riders with a better way to pay by eliminating the time-consuming step of searching for cash to buy a ticket while minimizing cash handling costs for transit operators.
"Transit agencies the world over have one primary goal - to get their customers to where they need to go quickly and efficiently. What transit agencies and riders recognize is that using Visa on buses, subways and trains is the logical evolution in terms of improved speed, security and convenience," said Jim McCarthy, global head of product, Visa Inc. "For commuters, paying with Visa means no more fumbling for change or worrying about lost transit cards. For transit authorities, accepting Visa means better customer service, integrated collections and the potential for increased ridership."
The pilot program in New York uses Visa payWave technology, which is based on a small electronic chip embedded in a mobile phone or payment card that communicates securely with contactless readers at the fare gate and on the bus. Transit riders pay by simply holding their Visa payWave-enabled mobile phone or card near the designated reader at the fare gate. The program in Los Angeles is exclusive to Visa and started September 15, 2010 and is a system wide commercial implementation available to all riders of the LA Metro system. The TAP ReadyCARD combines Visa prepaid functionality with the LA Metro's TAP (Transit Access Pass) proprietary transit application on a single card.
As part of the company's ongoing effort to add ever greater utility to its core credit, debit and prepaid payment products, Visa is working closely to integrate its electronic payments network, VisaNet, with mass transit fare collection systems.
New York / New Jersey
Visa payWave, Visa's contactless payment application, is now accepted as part of a pilot payment program underway with New York City Transit, NJ TRANSIT and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Earlier this month, Visa, the LA Metro system and Ready Credit Corporation started a system wide commercial deployment offering riders a TAP ReadyCARD Visa Prepaid Card that incorporates the transit system's "TAP" fare application. These dual-use, Visa prepaid cards will let riders pay their fares and purchase fare products using their Visa account, while also allowing cardholders to make purchases anywhere Visa debit is accepted.
Two types of cards will be available to LA Metro transit riders:
"Combining LA Metro's TAP with a ReadyCredit Visa prepaid card gives riders secure and convenient access to Metro's transit services and the ability to make payments at Visa-accepting merchants," said Jane Matsumoto, Deputy Executive Officer Regional TAP Program and Services, LA Metro. "This program also delivers enhanced financial services for underbanked TAP riders, enabling them to conveniently and securely access funds, as well as conduct everyday transactions like reserving a hotel room, paying bills online and shopping on the Internet - which can't be done with cash."
Visa Transit Around the World
In addition to the programs in New York and Los Angeles, Visa recently announced the expansion of some of its global transit initiatives:
About Visa Inc.: Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit https://www.corporate.visa.com.
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, +1-415-932-2564