• The New York City metro system has announced that it now accepts contactless payment solutions like Apple Pay.
  • This announcement means that every bus, subway station, and borough in the city now supports contactless payment solutions from companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung.
  • Adding contactless payment solutions means that users can now tap their smartwatch or smartphone over a turnstile to ride the subway instead of buying a paper ticket.

One of the many behaviors I’ve changed during the course of the coronavirus pandemic that I expect to adhere to from here on out is a move away from paying for things with cash, something that as an iPhone owner I’ve done by using the Apple Pay contactless payment and mobile wallet system as much as possible. Not only does this have safety benefits, since I’m not touching money that other people have handled at a time when the COVID-19 pathogen is still spreading like wildfire, but I’m an Apple Card owner as well, so I get benefits like daily cash back each and every time I use my Apple Card within Apple Pay to pay for something.

As 2020 has unfolded, Apple has gradually expanded the number of retailers and other partners that its contactless payment solution works with — a process that continued right up to the end of the year. On Thursday, the New York City MTA announced via Twitter that the city’s subway system now accepts contactless payment methods like Apple Pay, which is definitely good news in light of the coronavirus pandemic’s relentless spread that’s continuing.

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It’s important to note that what this announcement means is that every bus, subway station, and borough in the city now supports contactless payment solutions from companies like Apple as well as Google and Samsung. Now, passengers can use smartwatches and smartphones to swipe through the system’s turnstiles and be on their way.

The city’s MTA had planned on getting all this finished and up and running by October, but like so much of 2020 that plan was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. You can watch NYC officials announce the new payment availability via this recording of a press conference that was held on Thursday.

This expansion, at least for Apple Pay specifically, comes at a time when it’s still gradually adding new places where the service can be used — as well as promotional opportunities. For example, earlier this week Apple sent out an email detailing a New Year promotion, involving a 20% discount from Grubhub when customers make purchases of $10 or more using Apple Pay.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.