How-to: Paying with Contactless Bankcards

Contactless payment methods include payment apps and bankcards with the wave symbolVentra accepts standard contactless payments for fares right at the turnstile or bus reader, from contactless bankcards.

If you have a contactless card from your bank, you can use it directly for a Pay-as-you-go fare with Ventra instead of needing to get a card or ticket from us first!

Payment methods with the Contactless_Symbol_Ventra_Blue symbol—where you can make contactless payments at places like retail checkouts and vending machines—work for direct, Pay-as-you-go payments at Ventra readers.

See also: Paying with mobile wallet apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and others‚Äč

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG)

Just touch your contactless card on the center of a fare reader target. The PAYG fare for the service you're riding (see agency fares) will be deducted for your first ride.

 NEW: Transfers are now available when riding with PAYG on CTA and Pace!

Be sure to touch the same card every time you tap to make sure you get the best fare, including transfers.

See fare information from the service you're riding, such as CTA or Pace, for complete rate details and policy.


How charges appear on your app/statement

Fare is calculated automatically based on the rides you take and charged to your card's account like a standard "credit"-type transaction.

Your credit or debit card may be authorized for $5.00 when you first touch it to a fare reader, even though the actual fare is less: This is a temporary pre-authorization, and you'll only be charged the actual fare once it's reconciled in your payment account (this usually happens after about a day).

For example, if you only took $2.75 worth of rides, you may see a pending $5 authorization occur in your banking app until the fare is reconciled and only $2.75 will appear on your statement.

Also note that you may see the total fare charged in batches, in increments of up to $5, in your transaction history and on your bank statement when multiple fares over a period of time are fully reconciled.

Tips for using contactless cards/mobile devices/Pay apps at a Ventra reader

Touch your device or contactless card directly to the reader's target

Touch your card or the back of your device against the yellow target on the lower part of bus fare readers or on train station turnstiles for a reliable read, every time.

Avoid "card clash"!

Whenever you pay, take out and touch only your desired payment method (card, ticket, mobile device, etc.) to the Ventra fare reader.

Ventra can accept payments from many different card/payment types. Taking your card out makes sure that the payment method you intended to use covers every part of your trip.

(Tip: Never attach any cards that might be used for payment to your phone to then touch your phone when you board, such as bankcards with the contactless wave symbol, or Ventra Cards or Tickets from a vending machine. Many phones have features that let you pay using the phone’s built-in wallet/Pay app.)


Additional tips for using contactless bankcards

What do I do if the reader says "Stop" when I tap?

This may be the result of having used your payment method on another device more recently than the one you tried to pay with (such as tapping your watch to ride once and trying to go back to using this card on your phone).

If this happened and you'd like your previous device to become the active one again, simply call Ventra Customer Service at 1-877-NOW-VENTRA and a representative can help. (In the meantime, you may need to use another payment method to ride.)

They can also help you resolve any other issues, such as if the reader says "Stop" because a charge for a previous Pay-as-you-go ride you took was not accepted by your bank.

Touch your card directly to the reader

Touch your bankcard flat against the yellow target on buses and at train stations for a reliable read, every time. You can remove your card once you hear the first beep.

Pay for others traveling with you

You can pay for up to six other people traveling with you with your contactless bankcard—they can join you at any point along the way and Ventra will figure out their fares, automatically.