TAP Card should go after the high-profit retail market in Los Angeles.

TAP is one of the largest smart card systems in the United States, with an average of 24 million transactions processed every month, serving 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines.  

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to expand the network of retail locations at which customers can purchase and reload TAP cards. TAP riders can currently buy and reload TAP cards at more than 450 retail locations across Los Angeles County; it will expand that total to more than 2,000 stores in 2020. Source: PaymentsJournal

As an incentive to install the card readers, a store receives 3.75% of each transaction as commission. Source: Dailynews.

Average credit card processing fees range from 1.5% to 2.9% for swiped credit cards. Source: Creditdonkey.com.

Therefore, a 3.75% transaction fee for top-up is a rip-off.

Potential High-Profit Income from Retail Market

TAP Card with a big user base can be a good cashless payment for convenience stores, fast food restaurants or retail stores. It has a competitive advantage over Visa or Master card that people carry it every day and there is no penalty for late payment.

If TAP Card can be a spin-off, operated independently of LA Metro, it can charge the LA Metro 1.5% transaction fee like a credit card. If the credit card company can make a good profit with 1.5%, so does TAP Card.

The 24 million transactions monthly with an average of $1.75 will give TAP Card monthly income of $63 million.

On top of transportation income, TAP Card can go after the high transaction amount retail market in Los Angeles. Taking a small piece of the pie from Visa and Mastercard will be a big number.


With the big customer base like TAP card and also latest mobile payment technology, TAP card can be easily established itself as the local cashless payment icon in Los Angeles.

Not only it saves the taxpayers’ big money to invest further on new account-based open payment for LA Metro, but it will also bring attractive income to the city of Los Angeles.

Learn more about the latest mobile payment technology for public transit and retail, please visit mobileafc.net