Passenger Rail, Technology and IT

Credit card tap-and-go a step closer in Sydney

A trial for the use of contactless tap payments from credit cards on public transport has begun in Sydney, with ferry customers travelling between Manly and Circular Quay able to use their Mastercard to pay for their trip.

Contactless card payments is being pushed as the logical next step for Sydney’s relatively new Opal ticketing system, with NSW transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance announcing the trial on July 7.

Opal card readers on the F1 ferry service, between Manly and the city, have been fitted out to register payments from credit and debit cards, or a smartphone with contactless technology, linked to a credit or debit card account.

Mastercard is the only provider currently supported by the new system, however, with other providers set to join over the next year.

“From today, anyone catching the ferry with a Mastercard no longer needs to queue for a single Opal ticket and can simply tap on with their card at the Opal gates,” Constance said.

“Australia is a world leader in the uptake of contactless payments in the retail secotr so it makes sense to trial this convenience with our transport customers.”

Constance said the Circular Quay to Manly ferry route was a key starting point, as 40% of passengers are visitors to Sydney.

“It makes sense to provide a convenient solution to those who may not have an Opal card,” he said.

“And for regular commuters, this is part of the Government’s focus on adapting the technologies of today to make the customer experience easier while testing out this technology for the future.”

Ticket pricing will be the same with contactless debit and credit card payments, the minister said.