Travellers on New South Wales trains will be able to use their credit and debit cards to pay for transport as part of an expanded trial announced today by the state government.
The government said it had switched on support for contactless card payments, as an alternative to Opal cards and single-trip Opal tickets, following a trial involving Sydney’s light rail and ferry services. The option to pay by card is now available on Sydney trains and any NSW Train Link Opal service.
The cost is the same as a standard Opal fare, the government said.
“Contactless payments will also make purchasing higher one-off fares a thing of the past for occasional train customers and visitors to NSW,” transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance said.
The government intendeds to expand the trial to Sydney’s bus network in mid-2019.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards are supported, and the government said that Transport for NSW is working on potentially adding EFTPOS card support. The system will also work with smartphones, tablets and wearable devices that have mobile wallets linked to a compatible card.
People using cards will benefit from the government’s daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps, but not from the weekly travel discount, concession fares, and the transfer discount.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia developed the payment infrastructure used by the system, and also acts as the acquirer, and back-end processor of the card transactions.
“Nearly all of an individual’s daily transactions across the city can now be accessed with a single card or device. This is in direct response to a growing demand for contactless payments, and the use of digital wallets,” said CBA business customer solutions executive general manager Clive Van Horen.
CBA said it would use its partnership with Mobeewave to allow Sydney transit officers to validate payments.
Opal card operator Cubic Transportation Systems said that more than 235,000 trips had been taken since support for contactless payments was switched on for ferries and light rail in March.
The open payment system is based on technology that Cubic pioneered with Transport for London, the company said.