More ways to pay: PRESTO introduces debit taps on transit
Interac® debit payment option gives customers even more choice and convenience.
May 2, 2023
Taking transit just got easier.
Starting today (May 2), transit users can now tap their Interac® debit or credit card on PRESTO devices to travel across participating municipal transit systems.
This includes 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.
The new payment option comes as PRESTO reports a million credit taps on its devices since the launch of the credit card payment option in August 2022.
How it works
Just like a credit card and PRESTO card, customers will need to physically remove their debit card from their wallet or phone cover and tap.
Payment can also be made by using the cards connected to a mobile wallet on smartphones or smartwatches.
What you pay
When using a debit or credit card, the price of the trip will vary depending on how you travel.
On GO Transit and UP Express, the fare will be based on the distance of the trip.
When customers pay with a debit card on GO Transit or UP Express, they will be charged a temporary pre-authorization amount that may be more than the cost of the expected trip – customers should make sure they have sufficient funds on their debit card to cover the pre-authorization.
The difference between the exact fare and the pre-authorization amount will be returned by your bank.
Depending on the bank and card, paying with debit might differ from paying with a credit card. Some banks have transaction limits or additional banking fees that apply when paying for purchases with a debit card.
On all participating 905-region transit systems in the GTHA, customers will be charged one flat fare.
In some cases, customers may get a discount if they continue to use a PRESTO card.
Customers should always check with their bank as well as the transit agency they chose to travel with beforehand to determine if debit is the best payment option for them.
Setting up default trips
If taking GO Transit, customers will need to either set a default trip on their payment card or remember to tap on and off with their debit card.
You can set a default trip between two specific destinations when using your physical credit card, physical debit card or credit card on a mobile wallet.
Setting a default trip is not available when using a debit card in your mobile wallet.
If your trip requires you to transfer to a different transit agency, be sure to check ahead if they accept credit or debit taps on a PRESTO device.
If not, you will have to use a PRESTO card or another accepted payment method upon transferring.
Now that paying with both debit and credit cards is officially available for rides on participating transit agencies, Metrolinx is working very closely with the TTC to implement these payment options for Toronto transit riders coming this summer.
For more information on these new payment options and where to currently use them, visit prestocard.ca.
Barclay Hancock, Chief Payments Officer, Metrolinx: “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,” said 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,” said Hancock.
William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp: “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,” said William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp.
When transit authorities add Interac Debit, they are offering riders a method of payment that almost 30 million Canadians already use for day-to-day transactions. Interac is proud to play a part in supporting the needs of transit riders in Ontario," said Keliehor.
by Nitish Bissonauth Metrolinx bilingual editorial content advisor