ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

5 things you need to know about Tap to Pay launching on May 22

Get ready…Tap to Pay launches on May 22! That means Compass Card readers will accept contactless Visa® and Mastercard® credit cards as a convenient way to pay an adult, cash fare. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay with a Visa® and Mastercard® credit card linked will also be accepted. Please note: card readers will not accept debit cards, including Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit cards.

Here are five things you need to know to get ready:

1. Tap your card, not your wallet

Tap only the card you intend to pay with, whether it’s a Compass Card or a contactless Visa® and MasterCard® credit card. This ensures the correct card is charged once the technology goes live.

If more than one payment card is presented at a card reader through tapping a wallet or any item with multiple cards inside, the system will charge the first card it detects, which may not be the one you intended for payment.

2. Tap to Pay is convenient

Just like a Compass Card, paying your fare with a credit card allows you to transfer seamlessly across all modes with a 90-minute transfer window! Simply tap in when you start your journey and tap out when exiting or transferring. Make sure you tap out with the same payment method you tapped in with.

Remember: buses require a tap in only, and if you’re starting your journey on the bus using a credit card, you have full transferability across all modes over starting your journey with cash.

If you’re paying using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, you’ll see multiple pre-authorizations for all your taps in. Please see your credit card statement for your final charge.

3. Keep using a Compass Card for discounted rates

Tap to Pay fares are charged at the adult, cash rate. To continue receiving discounts over cash fares, please use a Compass Card.

4. One card per person

Just like with a Compass Card, the system requires all customers to tap in and out with one payment method. If traveling with more than one person, make sure a different method of payment is used for each passenger.

5. Tap to Pay is quick

Make your transit journey quicker and more efficient by skipping the line at the Compass Vending Machine. There’s no need to dig for exact change or worry about pre-calculating zones for customers who don’t have a Compass Card. This new feature will be especially convenient for tourists and infrequent riders – simply tap your contactless Visa® or MasterCard® credit card or use Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, and ride.

Learn more about Tap to Pay at

Author: Allen Tung and Sarah Kertcher


  • By Joe, A 12 for Transit, April 23, 2018 @ 1:32 pm

    Love the new commercials! But to me, the best way to use Compass Card & ORCA Card is via a lanyard. Also on it: A light or lights to let a bus driver know I’m waiting for them in the dark!

  • By Khang Dang, April 23, 2018 @ 8:36 pm

    Lmao the girl trying to tap the compass reader with her wallet. Had me in tears

  • By N, April 25, 2018 @ 11:26 pm

    I wonder if we’ll see Compass Cards linked or integrated into Apple and/or Android Pay methods soon, like they do in Japan with their Suica cards! I think it would be a great addition to the upcoming tap to pay offerings.

  • By Mischa, May 15, 2018 @ 11:45 am

    Will tap to pay expand to interact debit and Amex cards in the future?

  • By Allen Tung, May 16, 2018 @ 10:22 am

    Hi Mischa, we’re exploring a number of options for the future, including debit.

  • By Anonymous, May 16, 2018 @ 8:43 pm

    When you say VISA are debit cards accepted as a method of payment as well or no?

  • By Allen Tung, May 17, 2018 @ 9:18 am

    Hi there, not at this time, but it’s something we’re looking at implementing in the future.

  • By Libor, November 10, 2018 @ 3:20 pm

    Your instructions for tapping are confusing to me. In one sentence you say you need to tap only when you go on the bus, in the other sent you say you need to tap on the way out. How does it work with transfer like going to Horse shoe bay?

  • By Chloe, March 4, 2020 @ 9:50 pm

    Hi, my visa credit card doesn’t work on the bus, neither does my partners. When we tap the reader it shows a red error message “try again” Is there something Wer doing wrong? Both of our credit cards have sufficient funds.

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our Participation Guidelines before you comment.