Google wants its mobile wallet to be usable as bus fare

Mobile wallet - Paying bus fare with smartphone

The tech giant is aiming to make it possible for more commuters to add digital transit passes to the app.

Google is working to help commuters using transit systems in a growing number of locations to add their passes to their mobile wallet instead of having to carry a physical card.

The company recently posted a blog discussing the way it wanted to combine the app with this service.

Google has been watching the increasing trend in the use of mobile wallet apps and contactless technology for transactions of all kinds, including transit passes. It is now seeking to bring these areas together so that its app users will be able to simply tap their phones to pay their way on buses, trains, subways, ferries and other forms of public transit.

Using mobile wallet payment to pay for bus ride

“We saw a strong uptick of contactless and mobile payments over the last few years as people sought out more touch-free ways to go about life,” explained Google Wallet product manager Atri Chandramouli in the post he wrote on the company’s official blog. “And the convenience of making contactless payments has stuck. Nine in 10 public transit riders say they expect transit agencies to offer contactless options as a form of payment.”

Google Pay can already be used in many cities, but the company wants its mobile wallet added.

About five hundred cities already allow commuters to use Google Pay to cover their public transit fares. That said, what the company now wants is to allow commuters who have transit passes to be able to store them in their mobile wallets, giving them access to transit systems directly through their phones.

This service has now launched in Madrid and will soon roll out in Seattle and the Puget Sound area. That said, the company is looking to make the availability far more widespread.

At the same time, the company is also looking to integrate a spend-tracking feature that will provide commuters with a report on their ride history and how much the use of time-based fare caps offers them the opportunity to save money on their transportation costs, said the blog post.

“You’ll also be able to receive updates directly from your transit agency, so you have the latest information on service changes or delays,” explained Chandramouli in the mobile wallet post. “This new feature will begin rolling out later this year.”

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