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.
This NFC functionality for the PRESTO app is only possible as Apple has relaxed its NFC restrictions for developers, allowing for apps to access with iOS 13.
As you can see from the screenshots above obtained by iPhone in Canada, the PRESTO app details how you can check your card balance.
“Place your phone on your PRESTO card to view most recent details,” explains the app’s instructions. Users are told to “Click Start when you are ready.” Next, a “Ready to Scan” pop up appears, asking users to “Hold the PRESTO card on the upper back of your iPhone.” This process is similar when trying to add funds to your card.
PRESTO’s iPhone update coming soon means travellers in Greater Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton areas will be able to reload and check balances immediately, without delays.
Metrolinx, which operates PRESTO, said back in February travellers would soon also be able to pay for fares with tap as well, instead of using a PRESTO card, beginning with credit and debit cards first.