Commuters can now tap on with Amex, Visa or Mastercard across all Sydney trains

Kelly Emmerton

26 Nov 2018

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Just four years after they were completely rolled out, Opal cards might become a thing of the past, as Sydney commuters can now tap on and off across train, ferry and light rail networks using their credit card.

In March, commuters on Sydney Ferries and the Inner West Light Rail gained the option to tap on and off using their credit or debit cards. Now, Sydneysiders can pay for adult Opal fares across all Sydney trains and any NSW Train Link Opal services by tapping their credit card, debit card, mobile wallet or wearable payment device.

“In Australia, tapping your phone, card or wearable has become synonymous with paying. In fact, 94% of Visa’s face-to-face transactions in Australia are contactless, and we’re seeing more people frequently using their mobiles to pay, particularly for daily purchases such as transport,” said Axel Boye-Moller, Visa Head of Product Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

“The expansion of contactless payments to TfNSW’s train network will make the Sydney transport experience quicker and more convenient for locals and tourists alike.”

READ MORE: Do wearables and digital wallets spell the end of the credit card as we know it?

Unlike the roll out in March, travellers using their plastic to tap on to Sydney trains will also get the benefits of daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps. However, the weekly travel discount, concessions and the transfer discount won't be available to commuters using their credit or debit cards.

For American Express, the roll out of contactless payments to trains is part of a wider plan to increase the number of places that Amex cardholders can pay by tapping. It reported that up to 50% of the American Express payments on the original Sydney Ferries and Inner West Light Rail were made with a digital wallet.

“Commuters with American Express cards now have the option to use their contactless card, mobile wallet or wearable to tap and pay for their train, ferry or light rail fares – providing them with a fast and convenient way to get around,” said American Express Vice President Loyalty & Partnerships, Robert Tedesco.

Amex cardholders should also look out for special transport offers through their app and online account at the beginning of 2019.

Top tips for tapping on and off with your credit card

  •  - If you’re using a mobile wallet to travel, make sure your phone is charged. If a ticket officer asks to check that you’ve tapped on and you can’t show proof because your phone is dead, you can be fined up to $550.

  •  - You can only use your card to pay adult fares at the moment. If you’d usually use a Child, Senior or Concession fare Opal card, then stick to that to get the cheaper price for now.

  •  - If you’re travelling in a group, everyone must tap on and off with a different card - two people can’t use the same credit card to travel.

  •  - Make sure to keep your cards organised and tap on and of with the same piece of plastic! If you accidentally tap off with a different card, you’ll be charged the default maximum amount on each card.

  •  - Seperate your cards before you tap, so that you know which one is being charged. If you tap with your whole wallet, you run the risk of the charge being applied to the wrong credit card, or even of tapping on and off with different cards.

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