Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO) and Cubic Transportation Systems, the transportation segment of Cubic Corp., partnered to provide Philadelphia/New Jersey region commuters with the first transit-branded, contactless Visa prepaid card in the world.
The new PATCO Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card began a 12-month pilot program on Monday. This marks the first time that consumers will be able to use the same transit payment card for both transit and retail purchases.
Cubic developed the pilot program to assist transit agencies that are facing shrinking budgets and are looking for ways to reduce costs of fare card operations and create avenues for additional revenues. This type of payment system — called an "open-loop" payment system — uses contactless bank cards that give users the opportunity to spend money wherever the card is accepted.
The majority of transit fare cards in use today, such as the PATCO FREEDOM Card, are closed loop payment systems, meaning they can only be used for transit payments.
The PATCO Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card is a contactless, general purpose, reloadable card. It is one of the lowest fee prepaid cards on the market. To participate, PATCO riders can get a free PATCO Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card, with no enrollment, free from brand ambassadors who will be on site for the first two weeks of the pilot at six PATCO stations where special kiosks will be located to enable customers to load their cards. Customers can also order and register their cards online.
Riders use the card to wave and pay at PATCO gates and parking terminals and anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, including telephone and online purchases and bill payment. The cards can be loaded, reloaded and managed many ways, including online. Once the card has been registered, it is FDIC insured and can be used for cash back on purchases and for ATM withdrawals.