Sydney commuters are now able to tap on and off trains with their credit card from today after the success of the trial run by Transport for NSW in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank, Cubic and Mastercard.
Customers using their credit card, smartphone or smartwatch will be paying a standard (peak) adult Opal fair.
Visa, Mastercard and Amex cards are all accepted, those using cards will also have a travel cap for daily, weekly and Sundays like their opal counterparts.
Since July last year, commuters using the Manly F1 ferry were able to tap on with their credit cards, smartphones and smart watches.
In March, the trial was expanded to all ferry and light rail services. To date, more than 235,000 trips have been made using the contactless payments option.
The only downside to using a credit card is commuters will not be able to get the Opal-based benefits such as weekly travel reward, transfer discounts, off-peak train fare discounts, trip advantage and free access to Opal Park & Ride car parks.
Transport for NSW said, “Being able to pay an Adult fare using cards and devices most people already carry makes public transport more accessible, particularly for tourists and locals who don’t use public transport often enough to need an Opal card. It also offers a handy backup option if you forget or lose your Opal card.”
The core payment infrastructure has been developed by CBA. The Commonwealth Bank said it also plays a key role as the acquirer, and back-end processor of the transactions.
According to the CBA, in an Australian-first initiative, the big 4 bank will leverage its ongoing and exclusive partnership with Mobeewave – pioneers in mobile contactless payment acceptance – to allow transit officers to validate contactless payment fares using off-the-shelf devices.
The State Government plans to expand the service to buses by mid next year.