Does septa take apple pay

Philadelphia’s public transit system SEPTA now allows riders to use Apple Pay and other contactless payment methods like Google Pay for purchasing and reloading SEPTA Key cards. This new payment option provides added convenience for SEPTA riders who want a quick and easy way to pay using their mobile devices.

What is Apple Pay on SEPTA?

Apple Pay on SEPTA allows riders to use their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for SEPTA products and services using NFC technology. Specifically, Apple Pay can be used at station kiosks and sales offices to purchase SEPTA Key cards and reload existing cards.

To use Apple Pay, riders simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader at SEPTA kiosks and sales offices. The payment is processed quickly and securely through Apple Pay without having to insert a credit card or touch buttons on the machine.

How to Set Up Apple Pay on iPhone and Apple Watch

To use Apple Pay on SEPTA, you first need to set up Apple Pay on your device:

  • On iPhone, go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay and add your credit or debit card.
  • On Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on iPhone and go to Wallet & Apple Pay to add your card.
  • Follow the prompts to complete card verification and confirmation.
  • Your card will then be ready to use with Apple Pay.

Purchasing and Reloading with Apple Pay

Once Apple Pay is set up, you can use it at SEPTA stations and sales offices in a few quick steps:

  1. Hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader on the kiosk or sales terminal. It will recognize your device.
  2. Confirm the amount you want to pay if prompted.
  3. Your SEPTA Key card will be dispensed or reloaded within seconds.
  4. A receipt will be sent to your iPhone Wallet app.

It’s that easy! No need to carry cash or even take out your physical credit card.

Future Contactless Payments on SEPTA

While Apple Pay on SEPTA currently only works for purchasing and reloading cards, SEPTA plans to expand contactless payments in the future. The goal is to eventually allow riders to tap into stations and pay bus/trolley fare directly from an iPhone, Apple Watch or other mobile wallet.

This fare payment integration was delayed due to COVID-19 but is expected to pilot sometime in 2021. When implemented, riders will be able to hold their device near fare validators to pay and enter with the same ease as tapping a Key card.

Benefits of Contactless Payments on Transit

Allowing contactless credit/debit card payments and mobile wallets like Apple Pay to completely replace paper tickets and plastic fare cards offers benefits for both riders and transit agencies:

  • Faster boarding without fumbling for cash or cards
  • Reduced crowding near ticketing areas and fare machines
  • Lower maintenance costs without physical ticket infrastructure
  • Modern fare payment experience expected by riders

As more riders move to contactless payments, these benefits will expand public transit access and convenience for Philadelphia.

Apple Pay Fare Payment on Other Transit Systems

SEPTA is joining other major U.S. transit systems that already offer or are launching Apple Pay and contactless fare payment. For example:

  • New York MTA launched contactless payment in 2019 with Apple Pay Express Transit.
  • Chicago Transit Authority began rolling out Ventra virtual cards in Apple Pay and Google Pay in 2020.
  • Washington D.C. Metro plans to activate mobile payments including Apple Pay on buses in 2021.

The experience on these other systems shows the promise of Apple Pay to provide easy, quick transit access without the hassle of cards. SEPTA appears to be on a similar path in making mobile wallets a staple of its system.

Can you use Apple Pay on SEPTA turnstiles?

Not yet. Currently Apple Pay on SEPTA only works for purchasing and reloading SEPTA Key cards at station terminals. It does not let you tap your iPhone on the turnstile validator to enter. That direct fare payment option is coming in the future.

Will Apple Pay work on SEPTA buses?

When launched, Apple Pay will work directly on SEPTA buses by holding your iPhone or Apple Watch near the fare reader. This capability is expected in 2021 along with tap payments on trains and trolleys.

Can you use Google Pay on SEPTA?

Yes, Google Pay provides the same contactless payment capability for purchasing and reloading SEPTA Key cards. When expanded fare payment rolls out, Google Pay will also work the same as Apple Pay.

How do I pay for Regional Rail with Apple Pay?

Currently, you can use Apple Pay to purchase SEPTA Key cards and add funds to use on Regional Rail at station kiosks. In the future, Apple Pay will let you tap to pay at Regional Rail station fare validators.

Is Apple Pay accepted on the SEPTA app?

No, Apple Pay is not an option on the SEPTA app itself. The app uses your SEPTA Key card stored in the app for tap payments. Apple Pay support is only at physical kiosks and sales terminals.

Can I use a credit card through Apple Pay on SEPTA?

Yes, you can add a credit card or debit card to Apple Pay and use that to pay for SEPTA fare products including SEPTA Key purchases and reloads.


JNVSOLAN is an industry veteran with over a decade of experience in Stamps & Postage, Open Close Hours, Restocking & Shipping, EBT and Pay, and General Topics. His expertise and dedication to these fields make him a valuable asset to our team. Trust his insights for all your niche-related queries.

Leave a Comment