Samsung Pay commuters can now tap on without unlocking their phones in NSW
More good news for Android commuters.
Samsung Pay has made the commute more convenient for millions across Sydney's train, light rail and ferry network with an update to its Samsung Pay app. With the new update, Samsung users will no longer need to unlock their phone when tapping on or off at Opal terminals.
To use their smartphone to tap on or off, commuters have to unlock their phone and load up their chosen mobile wallet app, such as Samsung Pay, then choose a card. The new update allows Samsung Pay users to select a preferred debit or credit card as their Opal payment option, which is then used automatically when they tap on or off at an Opal terminal even if their phone is still locked.
Head of Samsung Pay in Australia Mark Hodgson says Australians will be one of the first to use the feature and that the technology is being rolled out to work specifically with the Opal system.
"We worked with Transport for NSW to build a solution that is designed to offer a seamless experience for people choosing to use Samsung Pay when commuting across the NSW Opal network," Hodgson said.
Commuters in NSW have been able to use their Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit or debit cards as Opal cards since November 2018. It followed on from trials on Sydney's Manly F1 ferries, conducted since July 2017, which allowed commuters to pay with their Mastercard credit and debit cards. This trial was then extended to all ferries and trams and allowed commuters to tap on and off with their American Express, Visa or Mastercard from March 2018.
There have also been moves to bring smartphone payments to commuters in Victoria. Commuters travelling on the myki network have been able to swap their myki cards for an Android smartphone since 25 March 2019, but the option has not yet been available for iPhone users.
Other states have also explored smartphone payments for public transport systems. According to IT News, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in South Australia conducted a three-month proof of concept of smartphone-based ticketing in September 2016, but today no system has rolled out.
The Queensland Government announced in June 2018 it would be redesigning its ticketing system, which included allowing commuters to pay with smartphones and wearables, while the Public Transport Authority in Western Australia has confirmed it will be introducing new cashless ticketing devices and will investigate smartphone capabilities.
Today's announcement from Samsung Pay will see commuters able to use their Samsung phone to pay for trips at Opal terminals that accept credit or debit cards across Sydney trains, NSW TrainLink intercity rail services, light rail or on Sydney Ferries. The service isn't currently available for buses.