Melbourne commuters will soon be able to ditch their Myki and use their mobiles instead — but iPhone users will have to wait

Getty: Myki Card
  • Melbourne commuters will soon be able to ditch their Myki and use their smartphones on public transport.
  • Users will need to have Android 5.0 operating system or later and a near-field communication chip for contactless transactions.
  • The Victorian government is still waiting to seal a deal with Apple to use its contactless payment system.

Melbourne commuters will be able to ditch their Myki and use their Android smartphones to pay for public transport starting Thursday, but users of Australia’s most popular smartphone, the iPhone, are going to have to wait.

Android users will be able to use Google Pay to handle their public transport expenses with a minimum top-up of $10, Public Transport Victoria said. This will remove the need for users to physically carry their Myki card.

As long as the user is running the Android 5.0 operating system and has a near-field communication chip for contactless transactions, they’ll be able to use the system. Apple smartphone owners will have to wait for the government to secure a deal with the tech giant in order to use its contactless payment system.

The move follows a successful trial of 4,000 users that generated 80 per cent customer satisfaction ratings.

According to The Age, Sydney iPhone users are able to use the Opal system because the city employs an “open loop” ticketing system.

An “open loop” system allows you to use your credit card instead of the public transport card, as opposed to a “closed loop” system, like the one being employed in Melbourne, where a smartphone mimics the public transport card.

The Victorian government has worked closely with Apple in order to bring its technology overseas. In December 2017, the government announced plans for the construction of a new Apple flagship store in the publicly owned Federation Square. The announcement prompted backlash from the public, and a crowdfunding campaign to raise $40 million to buy the building slated for demolition gained traction.

Victorian public transport users are also used to technology delays. In 2015, the Auditor-General slammed the development of the Myki for coming in 55 per cent over budget and taking nine years instead of the promised two.

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