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Tap to Pay Along the Way: More Than a Quarter of US Adults Say They Prefer Contactless Payments for Public Transportation

December 20, 2021

Seven in 10 consumers (69%) say they plan to Tap to Pay for holiday shopping this year.

NEW YORK, December 20, 2021 – For adults who take public transportation, contactless payments are a preferred payment method, making mass transit a fast and easy way to get around this holiday shopping season. In markets that have greater public transit infrastructure, Amex Trendex1 data shows more than a quarter of transit riders surveyed (27%) in the U.S. say contactless is their preferred payment method when paying for public transportation. 

“We’re working closely with both merchants and consumers this holiday shopping season on a multi-city campaign to show how easy it is to Tap, Pay, and Go, both in-store and on public transportation where available. Whether you’re going from SoHo to the Upper West Side, the Pearl District to Downtown Portland, or Lincoln Park to the South Loop, you can Tap to Pay along the way,” said Colleen Taylor, President, Merchant Services – U.S. at American Express (NYSE: AXP). 

Amex Trendex data also shows that seven in 10 adults surveyed (69%) in the U.S. say they plan on using contactless payments for at least some portion of their holiday shopping this year. Purchasing gifts in-store (53%), purchasing food for holiday meals in-store (44%) and eating/drinking while out holiday shopping (43%) are the leading occasions where surveyed adults plan on using contactless payments. 

Plus, more than two-thirds of adults surveyed (68%) in the U.S. agree that contactless payment options make purchasing items more seamless, which is especially true for Millennials (79%). With nearly a third of surveyed adults (29%) saying they would seek out a retailer that offers contactless payment options when doing last minute holiday shopping, now is the time for businesses to enable this payment option.




Busy transport hubs in both New York and Chicago feature an ad campaign by OnBrand, American Express' internal creative agency. The campaign includes station dominations at the Grand Central, Fulton Center, and Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center stops in New York, as well as the Clark & Lake and Belmont stops in Chicago.



American Express teamed up with #AmexAmbassadors including @DeshaunaBarber and @JohnPhilp3 this holiday season to highlight how contactless can be an easy and quick way to pay, and to get around on public transit.

To learn more about contactless for everyday purchases, please visit: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/contactless/index.html 

1This Morning Consult poll was conducted between November 16-19th, 2021 among a U.S. national sample of 2,000 general population adults with a household income of at least $70K. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The results include a data cut for Public Transit DMAs, which include results from the following DMAs: NY/NJ, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, Atlanta, and San Diego.


Becca Hare Moomjian


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

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