Friday, November 21, 2014

Metrolinx's UP Express to use American firm's app to accept mobile payments (you mean PRESTO can't support mobile payments?!)

Toronto’s new airport line will be using a mobile ticketing app when it opens next year.

The Union Pearson Express will be using an app from New York-based Bytemark, which lets passengers buy and present tickets using their smart phones, in a move targeting visitors to the city.



Anonymous said...

I think the title of this post is misleading. According to the article, Presto cards will be accepted alongside the new system:

"In-town Presto card owners can use their NFC cards on the Union Pearson Express, making it easy to go the other way on their card, and passengers can still buy tickets on board using a debit or credit card."

C.J. Smith said...

Whoops - will fix.

Alex said...

PRESTO could theoretically support mobile payments, but the issue is that very few phones do, and when they do the carriers like to lock the feature down. Only the latest iPhones support NFC, and it's locked down for Apple Pay only. My Android phone does have NFC, and when I hold it in front of a PRESTO reader the reader will light up with yellow.

This app will likely have visual verification with a moving image along with a barcode that can be read on the train, since the system won't have faregates and tickets will be checked on board. This also allows print at home tickets, like VIA rail offers. There is no good reason to integrate it with PRESTO, since a growing number of PRESTO agencies have faregates that require contactless (NFC) to pass through, and that would greatly limit the usefulness of the app.