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What you need to know about changes to how you pay for NSW transport

Posted: 29 July 2019 9:43 am
News

contactless payment opal

It's now simpler to use contactless payments on buses, trains and ferries.

Transport for NSW has announced a few changes which will change how you pay for travel in Sydney. The first change is that you can now use contactless payments to pay for travel on buses on the Opal network from August. This will be a welcome change to consumers, with the functionality so far having only been available on trains, light rail and ferries.

The second announcement is that commuters will enjoy a full fare parity with Adult Opal cards when they choose to tap on with their credit or debit cards. Until now, commuters who chose to use contactless payments to pay for NSW Transport services could not take advantage of the same discounts if they were to use their Opal card. This will now change.

Vice president of consumer services Australia and New Zealand at American Express Emily Roberts said, "Commuters with American Express cards now have the option to use their contactless card, mobile wallet or wearable to tap and pay for their bus, train or ferry fares – providing them with a fast and convenient way to get around."

All card types will be accepted – Mastercard, American Express and Visa – including contactless-enabled devices such as your smartphone. According to CommBank, commuters will be able to receive the following travel benefits that are in line with Opal:

  • Daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps
  • Half price travel after eight trips
  • Opal transfer discount
  • Off-peak price for train travel

Executive general manager of business customer solutions at CommBank Clive Van Horen said, "The demand for contactless payments and the use of digital wallets is growing at pace, so we are thrilled to continue our ongoing partnership with Transport for NSW to launch one of the largest integrated consumer payments networks in Australia with over 21,000 payment devices."

This contactless payment functionality was first rolled out as part of a trial in July 2017 on Manly Ferries with Mastercard and was soon extended throughout the ferry network as well as light rail. In November, commuters were able to tap on to trains as well using their debit or credit cards. Various improvements to the capability have been made along the way, including, for example, Samsung allowing commuters to tap on at Opal readers without even unlocking their phones.

Mastercard vice president of product management Mike Rowe said the announcement of the contactless payments rollout means that by the end of September, consumers will be one step closer to a seamless commute.

"The announcement not only benefits regular commuters but also creates an inviting transport network for occasional users and international and interstate travellers, addressing the transport challenges frequently faced by cities."

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