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article imageGoogle Pay adds support for prepaid transit cards

By James Walker     Mar 20, 2018 in Technology
Google has announced that users of its recently launched Google Pay mobile wallet service can now store prepaid transit tickets in the app. The feature is initially compatible with the Las Vegas Monorail network but Google plans to expand it over time.
Google Pay was launched a month ago as the successor to Google's previous Android Pay and Google Wallet services. It's a complete mobile payments solution that lets you use your phone as your wallet when you leave the house. At launch, the app only supported debit and credit cards, but Google's now expanding the service to include transport tickets and passes.
The implementation in use by the Las Vegas Monorail uses NXP's MIFARE contactless technology. Monorail users can purchase tickets online to avoid queues at the station. Customers will now have the option of saving their ticket to Google Pay after completing the purchase. Once stored, the app can be used to board the monorail network.
You don't need to open the app to validate the ticket. To authenticate the ticket, you just need to hold your phone near to the contactless readers at the monorail entrypoints. The MIFARE technology will connect to your phone and consult with Google Pay. The app will present your digital ticket, granting you access to the transport system.
Google Pay works with the Las Vegas monorail
Google Pay works with the Las Vegas monorail
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"Crowded public transportation can completely derail your day – especially when you're standing in line to buy a ticket and the train whizzes by. But the next time you're travelling around Las Vegas, you can skip the line and get there faster with Google Pay," said Google. "Now you'll be able to purchase your ticket online, save it to Google Pay instantly, and use your phone to ride – no need to open the app."
The Las Vegas Monorail is an ideal first partner for Google Pay. The network already presents itself as one of the most modernised urban transport systems, making integration simpler than with less advanced facilities. In the U.S., support for mobile payments on public transport is still uncommon. It is used in some other countries around the world, including the Underground network in the U.K.
Google plans to broaden its support for transport networks in future releases of the Google Pay app. The company said Las Vegas Monorail is only the first transit agency which will gain compatibility with the service. Google is presenting Pay as a unified mobile payments solution for both iOS and Android, using the simplified branding in an attempt to encourage wider adoption.
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