How-to: Paying with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay

Ventra is based on open payment standards, which means Ventra was designed to be used with services like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. 

If you have a phone with one of these apps, 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!

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG)

Just touch your device on the center of the card reader. The PAYG fare will be deducted for each ride you take.

Note that your credit or debit card loaded in your mobile device may be authorized for up to $5.00 when you first touch it to a card reader, even though the actual fare is less.

This is a pre-authorization, and you will only be charged the actual fare once it clears your account. The amount of time it takes for the final charge to appear on your account may vary depending on your bank. These are automatically processed as “credit”-type transactions, just like if you tap your device on a contactless-enabled vending machine or retail terminal.

A note regarding transactions with mobile devices

Ventra, like many merchants who process payments through bank credit networks, will speed up transactions by pre-authorizing up to a certain amount and then finish its processing and reconcile the precise amount later—this is common with restaurants, vending machines, gas station pumps, etc. When you touch a bankcard to the reader, Ventra does a temporary, pre-authorization hold of $5, to more quickly verify you have sufficient funds to cover your fare.

Once your fare is calculated (the system considers things like free, out-of-system transfers and special fares, like the O’Hare fare) posted (usually by the end of the business day), the amount actually charged to your account will be the actual fare charged. If two PAYG fares are charged in a short period, you may even see them grouped into one charge.

If paying with transit value or a pass,  the hold will simply disappear (and not be replaced by any posted charges) once your fares are calculated and processed through your transit account.

Tips for using your mobile device wallet

Touch your device directly to the reader: Touch your device flat against the yellow target on buses and at train stations for a reliable read, every time.

You can pay for others traveling with you: You can pay for up to six other people traveling with you with your mobile device—they can join you at any point along the way and Ventra will figure out their fares, automatically. Note that additional riders are always covered as individual fares and cannot be covered by a pass—whether you’ve loaded passes or value at a machine, make sure you’ve got enough transit value to cover them. Otherwise, additional riders are simply covered as a PAYG fare, per ride.

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