Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Now you can use your phone to pay for transport in NSW

Now you can use your phone to pay for transport in NSW

Transport for NSW has extended contactless payments via credit cards and smartphones to all Sydney ferries and the inner west light rail network.

Contactless promises to bring major benefits for both consumers and operators, and the trial has demonstrated that the technology Cubic pioneered with Transport for London can be adapted to fit Australia's unique environmental and regulatory conditions.

The "contactless payment scheme" was expected to be rolled out to trains before 2018 ends after it was rolled out to light rail and all ferries on Monday.

The wider roll out to Sydney Ferries and light rail services builds on Mastercard's recent work with Singapore's Land Transport Authority to implement the first contactless payments program for transit agencies in the Asia Pacific Region.

New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance clarified that the new technology was not meant to replace the Opal system, the backbone of the state's public transport ticketing system.

The trial had originally involved Mastercard customers only. "We are not replacing the Opal system- the Opal system is here to stay, and of course attached to the Opal system are all the benefits", he said.

"This is the flawless solution if you're a regular commuter who has left their Opal card at home".

By Amex's count, nearly 60% of Australians use contactless payments and one in six use mobile wallets, which means the option to use these payment methods on their daily commute will likely be a popular one.

"We see about 80 percent of the people in the retail sector use credit cards and debit cards tapping and going, transport's no different", he said, adding that there was no additional concerns over fraud which would be similar to those in the retail sector. With this contactless trial extension, customers will now also be able to use American Express and Visa cards to pay for their travel. Across London, more than 2.1 million journeys are now made using contactless on its bus, Tube and rail services every day.

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