NSW expands contactless payments for transport

New South Wales has expanded its support of credit cards for contactless payments on public transport.

The state government announced today that from August, buses fitted with Opal readers will begin to support the use of credit cards as an alternative to Opal cards.

“Launching this technology on buses marks the final piece in the contactless payments puzzle and we expect all buses on the Opal network to be able to accept credit and debit cards by the end of September,” said NSW transport minister Andrew Constance.

The state government in November announced support for card payments on Sydney trains, following a trial of the technology on light rail and ferry services. Mobile devices that support Visa, Mastercard and American Express payments also be used.

The payment infrastructure was developed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“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,” said the bank’s executive general manager of business customer solutions, Clive Van Horen.

“What was previously a transit gate is now essentially a payment terminal, demonstrating yet another example of how technology is enabling faster and more convenient experiences for the community and smarter, more connected cities.”

“This announcement marks the dawning of a new age for commuters in Australia’s major cities,” said Tom Walker, senior vice president and managing director of Cubic Transportation Systems, Asia-Pacific.

Cubic developed the smart card technology employed by the Opal system.

“This is a milestone project for NSW and for Australia,” said Walker. “Cubic is delighted to have partnered with Transport for NSW to introduce this new ticketing technology here, building on the success of Cubic projects in other major cities around the globe including London and now New York, where contactless is revolutionising ticketing.”

The state government said today that it was also introducing full fare parity between contactless card payments and the use of Opal cards.

“A credit card will now qualify for the same fare and travel benefits of an Adult Opal card on trains, light rail, ferries and buses once fully-implemented,” Constance said.

“From tomorrow, the weekly travel reward, the transfer discount and off-peak pricing, will be available for all contactless transport payments. This is a huge win for regular commuters who now have another convenient payment option with all the benefits of Opal.”

“Mastercard and Transport for NSW have worked closely together over the past few years, to make the commuter journey as simple as possible for public transport users,” Mastercard vice president, product management, Mike Rowe, said in a statement.

“The announcement today that contactless payments will begin rollout on Opal-enabled buses means that by the end of September, consumers will be one step closer to a seamless commute.

“Mastercard was the first payments technology network provider to work with Transport for NSW on the initial trial of contactless transport, and with the introduction of fare parity and the announcement of the bus rollout today, we look forward to continuing to make Australian cities better connected.”

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