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Hello Interac Debit! TransLink’s new way to tap into transit

Hello Interac Debit! TransLink’s new way to tap into transit

Interac card being tapped at the fare gate.

Are you tired of fumbling for change or spending time purchasing Compass Tickets at the Compass Vending Machine? Well, commuters in Metro Vancouver can now use their contactless Interac Debit card to tap into the transit system at Compass fare gates at SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals, as well as readers at West Coast Express stations and onboard buses. This makes TransLink the first transit agency in Canada to fully integrate contactless Interac Debit payments systemwide.

How it works: Simply tap your contactless Interact Debit card or mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay) on the reader to pay an adult cash fare.

Why it matters: This further removes barriers and increases access to transit by allowing customers to pay for transit more easily without having to use an in-station Compass Vending Machine or having to pre-load a Compass product with Stored Value.

Zoom out: Interac Debit joins Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards and mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay) as available contactless payment options for customers.

Yes, but: Don’t forget regardless of how you choose to pay, always tap your card and not your wallet, to avoid card clash. This can happen when you keep multiple payment types close to each other, often in a wallet or a phone case. The Compass system doesn’t always detect which card you’re intending to pay with which can lead to an error message on the screen, or one payment method may be charged when you tap in and another one when you tap out. Remove your credit or debit card from your wallet or phone case before you tap.

What they’re saying:

  • “We’re focused on making transit more convenient for customers and this upgrade will particularly benefit those who may not have easy access to a credit card. We were the first transit agency in the country to implement contactless credit card payments, and we’re proud to be the first transit system in Canada to implement contactless Interac Debit payments systemwide as well,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn.
  • “When transit authorities add Interac Debit to their networks, they are offering riders a form of payment that almost 30 million Canadians already use for day-to-day purchases. Tap to Pay offers riders a convenient way to pay their fares directly with Interac Debit, without having to pre-purchase a separate transit card. Our recent survey data showed us that 85 per cent of British Columbians agreed that paying for transit should be as easy as buying a cup of coffee. Today’s announcement helps to make that a reality,” says William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp.

By the numbers:  Regional data from participants of a recent Interac Canada-wide survey found that a growing number of British Columbians want more convenient contactless payment options for transit:

  • 66 per cent see debit as a convenient way to pay for transit.
  • 64 per cent claimed that tap payments would save time when paying fares.
  • 56 per cent would be interested in using debit or credit cards to pay for their trips if they had the option.
  • 69 per cent believe it would be easier for visitors to pay for transit using their bank card as opposed to tickets, tokens, or passes.

The bottom line: Gear up and get ready for a smooth and convenient transit experience. With Interac, your journey on transit is as easy as a tap of your debit card!

Learn more: Visit


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