What you need to know
- The Bay Area's Clipper Card arrives on Google Pay for easy transit payments.
- Clipper Cards can be transferred from a plastic card to the app and easily reloaded.
- Google Pay is also introducing new viewable transit passes.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) announced on Wednesday that Bay Area residents with Android smartphones are now able to use Google Pay to access their Clipper card and pay for transit.
Residents in the Bay Area will be able to transfer their existing Clipper cards to their smartphones using the new Clipper app that was also launched for Android. After launching the app and selecting the option to "Convert Clipper to Your Phone," users will just have to hold the card against their smartphone for it to transfer. From there, the card can be added to Google Pay for easy access.
If you don't already own a Clipper card, you can bypass the app and just add a new digital card straight from Google Pay. You will still need the Clipper app to add passes, but you can use either app to load funds onto the card, including auto-reload.
The best part about the new functionality is that it requires at least Android 5.0 (we're on Android 11 now, with Android 12 in beta) and a smartphone with NFC, which is equipped on most Android phones. That includes even the best cheap Android phones, although Motorola devices aren't supported due to "inconsistent experiences with Motorola phones."
It's important to note that the plastic card will no longer work once it's transferred to Google Pay.
In addition to the Clipper card, Google Pay is also bringing more visual tickets to the app. The feature allows users to save tickets to the app to activate immediately or at a later time. The transit agency sets the color of the visual ticket, which should make it easier for transit inspectors to recognize the pass from a safe distance (per social distancing). It's also not limited to transit and can be used for gyms, social events, and more.
The new Google Pay is currently available in the U.S., India, and Singapore, "with new markets coming soon."