U.S. Transit Agencies Face Tough Road to Open-Loop Fare Collection as Banks Shun Contactless EMV

NFC Times Exclusive – While big city U.S. transit agencies in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. continue to move toward launching open-loop fare collection, following Chicago, London and St. Petersburg, Russia, to the market, there will be few contactless credit or debit cards rolled out in the U.S. for their customers to tap at turnstiles or onboard buses anytime soon.

Moreover, using Apple Pay or other NFC wallets loaded with the bank cards is a nonstarter for riders to use at fast-paced metro gates, such as those of the New York City Subway, since they require users to scan a fingerprint or enter a PIN for each transaction. 

The difficult situation for open-loop fare collection in the U.S. may be one reason that a request for proposal, issued last month by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for a mobile-NFC pilot followed by a rollout, calls for using the same closed-loop Mifare technology as the agency uses for its TAP contactless cards­–not open-loop credit, debit or prepaid–either on cards or NFC phones. 

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