Rail commuters in Sydney will be able to use their credit card to tap on and off from today as contactless payment is expanded across the city’s public transport network.
The change means train travellers no longer have to worry if their Opal card isn’t topped up or they’ve left it at home. However, there’s no discount on the fare.
Card users will be entitled to daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps, but the weekly travel discount, concessions and transfer discount are only available through Opal.
The introduction follows successful trials of contactless payment on Sydney’s light rail and ferries.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said the card option is now available across the entire Sydney Trains network and on any NSW Train Link Opal service and will give occasional users an alternative to buying an Opal card.
“Integrating contactless transport payments into the Opal ticketing system is about choice and convenience, giving customers another option for accessing public transport and the ability to pay as you go without ever having to wait in a queue at the station,” he said.
Mobile wallets on smartphones, tablets and wearable devices linked to an American Express, Mastercard or Visa card, can also be used to tap on at train station Opal readers.
Constance said Opal cards are now used to complete nearly 14 million trips a week.
But contactless payment is also popular with consumers, with Visa’s head of product, Axel Boye-Moller, saying 94% of Visa’s face-to-face transactions in Australia are contactless.
“We’re seeing more people frequently using their mobiles to pay, particularly for daily purchases such as transport,” he said.
“The expansion of contactless payments to TfNSW’s train network will make the Sydney transport experience quicker and more convenient for locals and tourists alike.”
Constance said Transport for NSW is also working with EFTPOS to consider how they can be included in the trial and there are plans to expand contactless transport payments to the bus network in mid-2019.