The beginning of 2018 is looking to be an exciting time for payments. The ability to pay for trips on public transport via a contactless card or a mobile phone expected to be expanded to Sydney’s ferry fleet as early as February, following a successful trial on services between Manly and Circular Quay in 2017. Since last July, commuters travelling on the Manly ferry service have been testing contactless public transport payments with the ability to tap on and off using a contactless Mastercard credit or debit card.
The new Opal ticketing system will mimic London’s Oyster card system where commuters can choose to use either a contactless card or mobile payment on public transport or use their Oyster card. The ability to use contactless cards was first introduced by Transport for London (TfL) in 2014. Roughly 40% of pay-as-you-go travel in London is now made using contactless, helping to boost contactless card and mobile payment adoption in London in comparison to the UK.
"According to RFi Group data, roughly 1 in 4 consumers would be highly likely to change how they pay for public transport if given another option. Millennials are more likely than average to be open to trialling a new payment method for public transport and are also more likely to be early adopters in general."
The cost of a journey using either your credit card or mobile phone will remain the same as an Adult Opal single-trip ticket, however, the convenience and accessibility of the system will make it easier for tourists and infrequent users of public transport adding a great deal of value.