PrestoSource: Presto

What you need to know

  • PRESTO is an electronic payment system for transport in Canada.
  • It is rolling out new features to iPhone users.
  • Beta testers can now use NFC to reload their card and check their balance.

PRESTO users on iPhone are getting new features, including checking balances and reloading cards via NFC, features that are currently being beta tested.

As iPhone in Canada reports:

Back in February, PRESTO announced it would soon let users reload cards and check balances via their iPhone and the latter's near field communication (NFC) chip, adding a functionality long available to select Android smartphones.

Now, beta testers of the PRESTO iPhone app have let iPhone in Canada know the NFC feature for tap reloads and card balances has arrived. This signals a final public release could be out shortly to let users instantly check balances and add funds, without the usual 4 to 24-hour delay.

To check your PRESTO card balance, you simply place your phone on your card to view the most recent details. Click 'Start' when you are ready, and then select 'Ready to Scan'. Then users hold their PRESTO card on "the upper back of your iPhone". The process is the same for checking your balance and adding funds to your card. The update means PRESTO users in Greater Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton will be able to top up their cards and check their balances instantly.

According to the report, Metrolinx, PRESTO's operator, has said that it also plans to add the ability to pay for fares using NFC, rather than your PRESTO card. PRESTO announced back in February that it would bring these features, which have been available on Android for a while, to iOS users. As mentioned, the feature is currently in beta, so not available to the general public.