Transport for NSW is running a trial to allow passengers to use smart devices such as a phone or watch to tap on and off, instead of a physical Opal card.
The Opal card will be integrated with digital wallets, similar to those used to make daily purchases and access membership cards. The Opal digital card can be added to Apple Wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch, Samsung Pay on Samsung phones and will shortly be available in Google Pay.
A trial of 10,000 adult Opal customers will begin the project and will run for 12 months.
“Opal users will be able to register their interest through the transportnsw.info website and will be notified whether they have been successful in the trial over the coming weeks.”
The Transport for NSW spokesperson said the move was about integrating ticketing with changes to consumer behaviour.
“We have seen the increased popularity of using a digital wallet to conduct shopping and access membership cards, so we’re delighted to be taking Opal digitally for the first time while providing the same Opal card benefits to adult customers,” the spokesperson said.
“With so many different contactless payment solutions going digital, we look forward to seeing the benefit and convenience customers will experience from being able to move around the network using their smart phone or watch.”
Travellers in NSW can already use credit cards to pay at Opal readers, and will now be combine all payments onto one device.
Once the trial is complete, the service will be rolled out to all those who wish to access the service.
“This trial will enable us to listen to Opal users’ feedback, expectations and preferences and continue to enhance the experience for people travelling on the network,” said the Transport for NSW spokesperson.
A competitive tendering process led to a partnership between Transport for NSW and Mastercard, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and EML Payments Limited being awarded the contract to deliver the trial.