Swiping is so over. Or it will be, at least for elites with good credit, or basic checking, or one of those fancy "smart phones." Back in June the MTA kicked off a pilot program which gives participating commuters access to select subway, PATH, NJ Transit, and MTA buses with just a tap of their MasterCards. Now Visa has come on board, and the company is testing out "contactless payments" with smartphones.
Commuters with phones equipped with Radio Frequency ID chips (AKA RFID chips, AKA THE MARK OF THE BEAST) would simply pass their device over the same scanner that scans the RFID chip in a credit or debit card. Phones without RFID chips could be retrofitted with a chip sticker on the back; BlackBerrys are already equipped, but iPhone users will reportedly have to buy a special case. (Eventually RFID chip implants will give citizens in good standing access to the transit system with just a wave of their chip-embedded hand.) According to the Post, straphangers who use four participating banks, including Bank of America, are eligible, and an application would deduct fares directly from their bank accounts.
And Reuters reports that Visa is currently testing contactless transit payments in LA, but participating consumers have to buy special prepaid debit cards, which they can tap to ride a subway or bus. The cards can also be used to buy goods or services from other retailers, as well as track the movements of all dissident terrorist sympathizers. Here's a video showing how it works: