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Manchester Metrolink gets contactless payments technology

Travellers using Manchester’s trams can now complete their journeys using contactless payment

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has introduced a contactless payments infrastructure to its tram network, as research reveals the technology has transformed user experience.

Travellers on Manchester’s trams can now use bank contactless bank cards to tap when they get on and off the network, with the total fair worked out automatically.

According to a study from Visa, almost half of UK commuters said the introduction of contactless payments is the single most significant improvement to their public transport experience.

Stephen Rhodes, customer director at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “People now expect to pay as swiftly and seamlessly for travel as they do for any other purchase, so bringing contactless to Metrolink is a huge step forward for the city, and a boost to customer experience on the UK’s largest tram network.”

Visa found that in Manchester, 72% of commuters have used contactless payments for travelling on public transport compared to 68% in London, 53% in Liverpool and 87% in Leeds.

It said 69% of UK adults now use contactless payments for their everyday spend. UK Finance, which represents about 300 financial services firms in the UK, revealed figures that recently revealed some 6.3 billion payments were made in the UK using the “tap and go” feature of debit cards in 2018, a 29% increase on the previous year.

Steven Orelowitz, head of Transit at Visa Europe, said the UK continues to lead the way when it comes to contactless payment systems on public transport. “London’s contactless system set the gold standard being adopted around the world, and we are thrilled to have partnered with Transport for Greater Manchester to launch contactless on Metrolink trams,” he said.

Contactless payments for travel was introduced in London in 2012, initially on buses before being introduced for other modes of transport.

When it comes to travelling using contactless, Visa’s survey revealed that the ability to track spending was a major advantage for 24% of commuters, while reduced queuing time was another plus (45%) and the fact they don’t have to carry cash was a benefit for 59% of commuters.

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