Cash Is King With US Mass Transit

Retail Payments Cozy Up To Mass Transit

Cash is still king when it comes to paying for mass transit rides, according to new data from ACI Worldwide.

ACI Worldwide found in the U.S. that not only do people prefer to pay via cash for mass transit rides, but they also view it as the most secure payment method. Based on 2,006 riders in nine of the largest metropolitan transportation systems in the U.S., the survey revealed there is a lot of demand among consumers for alternative payment types but that non-cash payment methods aren’t seen as secure as cash.

Among the findings of the survey, ACI revealed that 51 percent cited cash as their preferred payment for mass transit, while 30 percent named a credit card or debit card and just 12 percent said they pay via a mobile app. Among non-cash payments, ACI found that all types of credit and debit card payments are considered the most secure, with 29 percent of riders viewing credit/debit card payment at a physical location as very secure. Using a mobile app for payment was deemed as secure by 38 percent of respondents. The survey also found that while 78 percent of mass transit riders currently trust that the payment process is secure, if their payment data was compromised by data breach or fraud, nine out of ten riders would likely revert to using cash for mass transit payments.

“Cash, which mass transit riders vastly prefer over other payment types, typically costs mass transit agencies twice as much in overhead as non-cash payments,” said Mike Braatz, chief product officer of ACI Worldwide, in a press release. “Our new findings highlight that security and convenience of payments are important to transit riders. Mass transit authorities must increase the variety of payment types and acceptance channels — including mobile-branded apps or wallets and self-serve kiosks — to drive down operating costs associated with cash and improve customer satisfaction.”