Tap to Pay
Our card readers accept contactless American Express, Mastercard, and Visa credit cards and Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. For customers without Compass Cards, this new feature means no more ticket line-ups, digging for exact change, or worrying about pre-calculating zones. You can tap your applicable card on card readers to pay your adult, cash fare. Note: card readers will not accept debit cards.
How to use Tap to Pay
Tap your contactless American Express, Mastercard or Visa credit card or mobile device (linked to an American Express, Mastercard or Visa credit card) on a card reader to start your journey. Tap your credit card or mobile device when transferring or exiting, with the exception of buses, which are tap in only.
Please note that only one card can be used per person and customers must carry their proof of payment (credit card) with them during their journey.
Paying with a credit card or mobile device allows you to transfer seamlessly across the system. You'll have 90 minutes to make your final transfer on bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus, and 120 minutes on West Coast Express.
Watch out for card clash!
Card clash occurs when multiple payment methods are tapped on a card reader at the same time. To avoid card clash, please remove your contactless credit card from your wallet or phone case before tapping it on a card reader. If paying with a mobile device, please ensure there are no contactless cards in your phone case when you tap on card readers.
After you've completed your journey, the exact fare will be sent to your credit card company. If paying with a mobile device, you may see various notifications and pre-authorizations in your mobile app after each tap. These notifications are not your charges. To see your final charges, please refer to your credit card statement.
If you have questions about your charges, please call Compass Customer Service for assistance at 604.398.2042.
How does Tap to Pay differ from using a Compass Card?
Paying with a credit card or mobile device is ideal for people who don't have Compass Cards. Tapping with a credit card or mobile device allows you to pay right at the card readers without digging for change or lining up to purchase a ticket. Compass Cards operate the same way, but they offer a discount over cash fares. More information about Compass can be found on our Compass Card page.
Can I use my contactless debit card?
We're exploring this option for future updates to the system. At this time, we're launching contactless payment for American Express, Mastercard and Visa credit cards and mobile wallets.
Can I load my Compass Card to a phone app?
Not at this time, but we're exploring a number of options for the future.
Will the system tell me how much my card is charged when I tap out?
Like many merchants who process payments through credit card networks, the Compass system speeds up transactions by pre-authorizing an amount and processing and reconciling the exact amount later. This means we can't display fares at tap out, as this would result in a significant delay at fare gates.
How will I know how much my trip costs if I pay with credit card?
Please refer to your credit card statement.
What will I see on my mobile device after I tap?
You may see various notifications and pre-authorizations in your mobile app. The way these appear will depend on the app you're using and the card you have loaded to the phone. These notifications are not your charges. To see your charges, please refer to your credit card statement. For a successful tap, the card reader will display “Proceed” with a green check mark.
What if my credit card is charged incorrectly?
Please refer to your credit card statement to review your charges. If you have unexpected charges, please call Compass Customer Service for assistance at 604.398.2042.
What if I tap in and then decide not to travel?
No problem. Just like with a Compass Card, you can undo your journey. If you tapped on a bus, please ask the driver to reverse the tap for you. If travelling on rail, you can undo your initial tap in by tapping out of the same station within 21 minutes on SkyTrain and SeaBus, and 60 minutes for West Coast Express.
How does TransLink protect my privacy when using Tap to Pay?
TransLink takes the protection of personal information very seriously and takes the following steps to ensure customer privacy is protected:
- All credit card data is encrypted within our system and the payment network.
- When a customer taps with a credit card or mobile payment method, the system generates a token as a proxy for the credit card number and tracks the activity of the token, not the credit card number, in order to calculate the fare.
- Storage and retrieval of data for customer service queries is in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and payment-card industry standards.
How will Transit Police and Security check fares?
Transit Police and Transit Security use Hand-Held Units (HHUs) to check fares. If you've paid with a credit card or mobile device, police or security personnel may use an HHU to detect if your credit card or mobile device is an accepted form of payment and has been tapped into the system.
How close does a card or device have to be to be read?
You don’t need to touch the card reader with your contactless credit card or device, but you should hold it within 2-5 cm (1-2 inches) for a reliable read. Some contactless credit cards and devices have a greater range and may be able to interact with the card reader from a greater distance.