NYC metro riders can soon use their smartphones to get into stations

Monitors for the new Metropolitan Transportation (MTA) contactless ticket payment system, known as One Metro New York (OMNY), are seen on turnstiles at a New York metro station, USA, on Saturday 4 May 2019.

Jordan Sirek | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New York City subway stations will soon be able to enter some stations with print on a smartphone or portable device.

As of May 31, riders will be able to use contactless credit cards and digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay to access Staten Island buses and some 4, 5 and 6 metro line stops. The pilot program is the first step towards the phasing out of plastic MetroCards, which is set to be completed in 2023.

The system, known as OMNY, will roll out in stages over the city over the next few years. By the end of 2020, all bus routes, subway stations and railway stops to Staten Island will be set up, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. OMNY will expand to commuter rails early in 2021[ads1], according to MTA.

The shift to OMNY is meant to increase access to the New York City transit system and bring the system up to date with other modern systems. Public transportation systems in Portland, London, Vancouver and elsewhere already accept digital payments through Apple Pay, according to Apple's website.

Contactless payment systems and digital wallets have become increasingly popular. Apple has leaned more into the payload with the introduction of the new Apple card in collaboration with Goldman Sachs on a presentation in March. Amazon Go stores allow users to scan the phones as they enter a store so they do not need to check out with a cashier at the end of the trip.

Payment systems have also raised concerns about who has access to bank accounts and digital wallets. For example, CNBC reported in April that an Amazon director told employees that it would start accepting money at Amazon Go stores to address concerns that the only digital system was discriminatory against low-income customers.

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