Cash is the prevalent method of payment for mass transit riders across the U.S. and is viewed as the most secure payment method, as well, according to new data from ACI Worldwide.
The company’s 2016 Mass Transit Payments Survey, based on input from 2,006 riders in the nine largest metropolitan transportation systems across the U.S., shows high consumer demand for alternate payment types, although noncash payment methods are perceived as less secure than cash, according to a press release.
ACI conducted the survey via mobile app polling among active mass transit riders in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Transportation categories included subway-light rail, train, bus, boat, car share, bike share and other.
Slightly more than half (51 percent) of respondents chose cash as their most-used payment method for mass transit, followed by credit or debit card (30 percent) and mobile app (12 percent).
Among noncash payments, riders named credit and debit card payments as most secure, with 29 percent saying that credit and debit card payment at a physical location is very secure. Using a mobile app for payment is deemed secure by 38 percent of respondents.
Although 78 percent of mass transit riders trust that the payment process is secure, 90 percent said they would revert to cash payments if their payment data were to be compromised in a data breach, according to the announcement.
“Cash, which mass transit riders vastly prefer over other payment types, typically costs mass transit agencies twice as much in overhead as noncash payments,” said Mike Braatz, chief product officer of ACI Worldwide. “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.”