Visa and Chase Seize on Launch of New York City Transit Payments Service to Try to Build ‘Momentum’ for Contactless

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Unlike in most developed countries in Europe and Asia, in the U.S., only a small percentage of the population regularly uses mass transit. But New York City is an exception, with more than 4 billion transit trips per year in the metropolitan area–seven times greater than in the next largest U.S. city in terms of transit use, Chicago.

It’s little wonder then that the biggest U.S. payments network, Visa, along with New York City-based JPMorgan Chase bank, the country’s top credit card issuer, has seized on the first phase of the launch next week of OMNY–the open-loop transit payments system being rolled out by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. They hope to use the launch to jump-start contactless payments in the U.S.

Visa and Chase along with other contactless payments backers are hoping that OMNY–combined with the issuance of hundreds of millions of contactless EMV cards this year by U.S. banks–can help lift the low adoption rate that contactless and NFC payments have reached so far in the U.S. The backers want contactless payments penetration in the U.S. to match that of developed markets in Europe and Asia, where Visa said that nearly half of all domestic, face-to-face transactions from cards carrying its brand are contactless. By comparison, contactless and NFC payments in the U.S., mainly from NFC wallets, are only in the low single digits of all face-to-face bank card payments. 

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