Contactless payment technology has been readily available for years in many countries where those residents regularly use bank-issued contactless cards for payment. Similarly through OMNY, tourists and non-domestic customers familiar with contactless technology never have to wait at a fare vending machine or station booth, allowing easy and seamless entry into the subway system with their own smartphone or contactless card. So far, customers from 93 countries outside of the U.S. have paid their fares using OMNY, with 62% percent of those customers coming from Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany and France.
- The MetroCard was first tested in the system in 1993, debuting to the larger public in January 1994. Tokens were discontinued in May 2003.
- OMNY readers are currently installed on all Staten Island MTA buses and at all subway station entrances on the 456 lines between Grand Central-42 St and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr. They will be installed in all subway stations and on all buses by the end of 2020. Once all stations and buses are equipped with the new technology, OMNY will support fare options similar to the ones currently available through MetroCard.
- MTA will issue its own contactless OMNY transit card for customers who wish to pay with cash in 2021.
- The MetroCard will be retired in 2023.
- OMNY readers accept contactless cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and eventually Discover Card as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay.