Contactless Interac Debit fare payments launch on Laval buses

Flowbird’s integration of Interac® Debit to its open payment platform opens up potential for more widespread adoption of ‘tap to ride’ contactless fare payments in Canada.

Société de transport de Laval (STL) and the Autorité régionale du transport métropolitain (ARTM) have announced the launch of Interac® Debit fare payments on board STL buses. For the first time in Quebec, passengers will be able to tap their Interac® Debit contactless bank card (physical or virtual, on a phone or smart watch) on a validator to access buses.

Powered by Flowbird technology

STL’s contactless payment system is provided by Flowbird in partnership with acquirer Moneris. Flowbird’s Axio validators receive card taps, and handle multi-validation for groups or families travelling together. The Flowbird open payments module, part of its CloudFare® back office, calculates fares and processes contactless EMV payments.

Stakeholders stand next to STL bus at launch of Interac Debit contactless fare payments
Stakeholders, including Flowbird's Olivier Warrot, celebrate the launch of Interac® Debit contactless payment acceptance

The first tap activates ‘travel rights’ for a single, flat fare journey. This includes an automatic transfer, with a further ‘tap-on’, and is valid for 120 minutes from the original tap. The system was rolled out across 365 buses (46 bus lines) to provide the ease and convenience of contactless EMV payments in April 2022. Originally accepting Visa and Mastercard, the new integration of Canada’s popular Interac® Debit card scheme is essential to drive adoption.

On-board validator displaying logos of payment schemes accepted - Visa, Mastercard, Interac
On-board validators now accept contactless card taps from Interac® Debit, Visa and Mastercard

Making transit payments effortless

“We’re proud to work with the City of Laval to enable Interac® Debit card acceptance across its public transit network. When Canadian transit authorities add Interac® Debit, they offer riders a quick and convenient way to pay fares with a payment method used by almost 30 million people in the country.” Frederic Beylier, CEO, Flowbird.

In a press release from STLJosée Roy, general manager of the STL, commented: “The popularity of contactless payment is undeniable and has been growing steadily. Requested for a long time by customers, payment by debit provides an additional argument for choosing public transport and a simple, quick solution for unplanned trips.”

Increasing transit ridership to meet climate goals

Stéphane Boyer, Mayor of the City of Laval, added: “Increasing the use of public transit in Laval is one of the key measures identified in our 2035 Climate Plan. With the implementation of innovative initiatives such as that of the STL, we participate in this collective commitment while taking a further step to invite the population to opt for a greener mode of transportation. I am proud that in Laval we can set an example.”

Find out more about Flowbird’s open payment solution.


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