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Australian Commuters Will Soon Be Able To Use Alternative Payments For Public Transport

Post by Sharat on February 14, 2018 · Under News · Comment 

As contactless credit card payments are increasingly becoming popular, many Sydney commuters may see the demise of the Opal card much sooner than they think. According to New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance, alternative payment methods may well be on their way to become mainstream on public transport. Mr Constance made his remarks following the success of a trial where commuters were permitted to use their MasterCard to “tap on” the Manly ferry.

No need to upgrade technology

The government is sill waiting on user feedback but has already committed to expanding the alternative payment universe across the entire public transport network including buses and trains. Mr Constance says that the present system already has the technological capability to achieve this and there would be no need to implement a massive overhaul. According to Mr Constance an in-built chip already exists within the hardware so it is already available. The only thing that need to be done is give people the option.

Smartphones, watches, credit and debit cards will all be supported

This would mean people could pay for public transport using their smartphones, smart watches and contactless credit cards. The big attraction to Opal was free travel after eight trips in a week. However that offer was revised to half-priced travel instead which means the incentive to stick with the card for commuters has diminished. Credit and debit card tapping or mobile payment apps and wearable technology are incredibly convenient payment methods so it is likely that commuters will embrace them.

Trials taking place across the country

Sydney is not the only city in Australia where such changes are taking place. Melbourne is also getting in on the action with its Myki system and in Queensland the government will be testing alternative payments to the present Go Card system by the end of this year or early next. That would mean that commuters in Queensland would no longer have to fork over $10 for a Go Card and instead use their credit or debit card to tap and pay for public transport.

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