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Introducing the Jawnt Pass

Introducing the Jawnt Pass

At Jawnt, we believe that everyone can benefit from better transit. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our newest product–the Jawnt Pass.

Jeff Stade
February 13, 2024

At Jawnt, we believe that everyone can benefit from better transit. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our newest product–the Jawnt Pass. 

The Jawnt Pass, a commuter debit card made available to riders through an employer, allows employees to spend pre-tax dollars from their paycheck on transit or parking costs anywhere in the U.S. When we started work on the Jawnt Pass, we knew we wanted to reinvent the traditional commuter debit card product, and we think we did just that. 

Legacy transit benefits providers offering these products typically don’t have any regard for the actual experience of using and paying for transit and have little incentive to work with transit agencies. After all, why would they?

These benefits providers have historically made hundreds of millions of dollars by focusing on maximizing interchange fees and, even more, from profiting off of unspent balances. In fact, these businesses reap the most profits when employees contribute money to their card and then never spend it.

However, when the Jawnt team speaks to organizations that want to offer transit benefits and commuter debit cards, they tell us it’s because they’re looking to address real problems–whether that’s reducing parking costs, meeting ESG goals, or creating compelling compensation packages. Helping with those problems requires building a commuter benefits platform and debit card that employees are actually going to use. 

Historically, commuter debit cards exist alongside or are bundled with other tax-advantaged accounts like HSAs and FSAs. But outside of both using pre-tax dollars, an HSA and a commuter debit account couldn’t be more different. 

While a commuter debit card addresses a known, everyday expense, an HSA is, at best, an approximate expense that’s only used sporadically. A clunky user experience and lack of support might be acceptable for a card that’s only used a few times a month, but for a card like the Jawnt Pass that’s used every day, multiple times a day–it simply isn’t. 

For example, it’s probably okay if you can’t use Apple Wallet or Google Pay with your HSA at the dentist. But not being able to use your commuter debit card in a virtual wallet to tap into the subway in 2024 should be a deal breaker. Instead, with most legacy commuter benefits providers, it’s the norm. (Don’t worry–the Jawnt Pass works with OMNY and other contactless fare systems, whether with your physical or virtual card.)

We don’t want commuters to carry unreasonably high balances on their Jawnt Pass–we want people to use it. Our success as a business doesn’t come from profiting on unspent balances, but from building better commutes that are supported by comprehensive benefits, data-backed recommendations, and a passionate team of transit experts. We encourage employees to pause or adjust their contributions month-to-month, and our customer success team is on-hand to make recommendations about commutes and fares. 

Our priority is providing a best-in-class experience around transit and rider engagement. The Jawnt Pass is one of the first steps in doing so, and we’re so excited to bring it to the world. 

Ready to learn more? You can schedule some time to chat with our team here

Thanks for riding with us,

Jeff Stade, Jawnt co-founder & CEO

Jawnt is a financial technology company and is not a bank. Banking services provided by Pacific West Bank; Member FDIC. The Jawnt Visa® Debit Card is issued by Pacific West Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

Jeff Stade

The Jawnt blog

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