From next month, commuters across NSW will be able to tap on and off using their credit card and debit card on Sydney buses, which according to NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constanceto is completing the “final piece in the contactless payments puzzle.”
The new addition follows the rollout of contactless payments for trains, light rail and ferries last year.
And if carrying around plastic isn’t your thing, you’ll also be able to use your smartphone, tablet or wearable device to tap on and off.
NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, said in a statement yesterday that he expected all buses under the Opal card system to accept credit and debit cards by the end of September.
All three card distributors, American Express, Visa and Mastercard are on board, with
AMEX’s Vice President of Consumer Services Emily Roberts saying:
“Our ongoing investment in digital capabilities and our partnership with Transport NSW is enabling card members to easily use their Amex card or mobile wallet in more places than ever before.”
Though it is a new way to pay, it doesn’t mean commuters miss out on regular Opal perks. Features like off-peak pricing, a transfer discount and half priced fairs after eight journeys are all applicable to the new constacess transport system.
Are Opal cards on the way out?
While many Aussies may find it easy to leave their Opal card at home, there are few select travellers who may need to hang onto theirs for a bit longer.
At the moment only Adult fares can be acquired using a contactless payment method, which excludes commuters using Concession, Child and Senior Opal cards.
Launched in 2012, the Opal card was designed to put an end to paper tickets, making getting around seamless and easy.
But with more and more Aussies turning toward contactless payments, are Opal cards heading toward redundancy?
Last year in March, a massive 92% of Visa’s domestic face-to-face transactions were contactless, while according to AMEX, 60% of Aussies used contactless payments.
“Australians have a keen appetite for new ways to pay, including via smartphones and wearables”, said Axel Boye-Moller, Visa Head of Product for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.
“Visa research found 8 in 10 people would be comfortable using a smartphone for every day payments and 23% of Australians would likely use a smartwatch or other wearable for everyday payments, if they had one.”
Think it’s time you gave your wallet an upgrade? Head on over to our credit card comparison tool to compare a range of credit card options that offer contactless payments.