Major Australian transport networks function on a “closed loop”, which means travellers need to use a unique preloaded card to use said services, such as Opal in Sydney and Myki in Melbourne. However, with the success of current trials, commuters in NSW may soon enjoy an “open loop” service utilising contactless payment features.
Transport NSW and Mastercard began a contactless payment service trial mid last year allowing ferry commuters to use anything from contactless cards to smartwatches rather than their standard Opal card to access transport services between Manly to Circular Quay.
"NSW transport minister, Andrew Constance recognises the success of Opal and believes expanding to alternative contactless payments could be the next level of choice to offer commuters."
Given that RFi Group data indicates that over half of consumers have used contactless features available on their debit and credit cards, 2 in 3 of whom use the features weekly or more, this new initiative would require very little change in behaviour from most consumers.
NSW transport minister, Andrew Constance recognises the success of Opal and believes expanding to alternative contactless payments could be the next level of choice to offer commuters.
This trial will continue to run through 2018 to further inform any decisions regarding the expansion while additional cities Melbourne and Brisbane seem set to receive the similar trials.