NSW commuters to ditch Opal for credit and debit cards next year

Public transport commuters in NSW could soon be ditching their Opal cards in place of debit and credit contactless payment technology, the state government announced this week.

“For too long, NSW has lagged behind the world when it comes to transport – but that’s changing,” said Transport Minister Andrew Constance at a technology summit on Monday.

“I don’t want to get dumped by the next wave of technology – I want to ride it.”

Constance explained the 2017 trial will involve customers tapping their plastic cards on public transport readers in a bid to improve the experience of their journeys through convenience.

While NSW will be the first state to combine contactless payments with the public transport system in the country, cities internationally have already been doing it for years.


According to MasterCard, London has seen more than 350 million rides using the technology since it rolled out in 2012 and has no doubt Aussies will embrace it too.

“Australians love using contactless payment cards for speed, security and convenience,” said a MasterCard statement released yesterday in response to the news.

Its data showed that in Australia, over 70% of in-store MasterCard transactions under $100 are made using contactless technology.

Want to learn more about the innovative technology of contactless payments? Read our guide to payWave and PayPass. Or if you are after some new plastic, head on over to our debit or credit card sections.