PSA: Sydney Commuters Don’t Need Opal Cards Anymore

PSA: Sydney Commuters Don’t Need Opal Cards Anymore

From August, Sydney commuters using their credit card or mobile to ‘tap on and off’ at Opal terminals will receive the same travel benefits as an adult Opal card. The Opal card discount will be available for train, light rail, Sydney Metro and ferry services. In other words, there’s no longer any reason to use an Opal card – regardless of how often you commute.

New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance announced on Sunday that contactless payments will be rolled out across buses in Sydney from August, the Australian Associated Press has reported.

Commuters will be able to tap on and off from buses using their credit or debit cards, as well as any smartphones or devices that have payment capabilities, according to ZDNet.

Mastercard first trialled contactless payments on the Manly to Circular Quay ferry in July 2017, before it was extended to the rest of the ferry network, light rail in March 2018. Mastercard then introduced the system to Sydney trains in November 2018.

Constance reportedly said adding this technology on buses “marks the final piece in the contactless payments puzzle”, with all buses on the Opal network set to accept credit and debit cards by the end of September.

Commuters will also be able to receive the same benefits of Opal cards when using their credit or debit cards, including daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps, the weekly travel reward (where you get half price travel after eight trips in a week), the Opal transfer discount (a $2 discount when you transfer between different modes of public transport within an hour) and off-peak prices for train travel.

The rollout means the completion of the contactless transport payments trial run by Transport for New South Wales together with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, public transport solutions provider Cubic and Mastercard.

CBA’s executive general manger of Business Customer Solutions Clive Van Horen said in a statement that the demand for contactless payments and use of digital wallets is growing.

“We are thrilled to continue our ongoing partnership with Transport for NSW to launch one of the largest integrated consumer payments networks in Australia with over 21,000 payment devices,” he said.

“What was previously a transit gate is now essentially a payment terminal, demonstrating yet another example of how technology is enabling faster and more convenient experiences for the community and smarter, more connected cities.”


  • As I understand it, Opal cards don’t need to be registered, and can therefore be anonymous, but a credit card is definitely not anonymous. So, if you don’t like being tracked, I’d argue there isn’t “no longer any reason to use an Opal card”

  • This is good news. I stopped using public transport when opal was introduced, mainly for privacy reasons. With credit cards privacy get’s a little bit better.

    But I still will not chance paying with a credit card, for the very same reason I will not entertain a toll road reader – If something going wrong, like a credit card charge of $4,000.00 . Both the toll, and the public transport billing is run by the government. The government has a clear history of not resolving errors for years. Why should the government give you a refund, they answer to no one.

    The government would then need to answer to the credit card company, and that might work well. They sure will not answer to the voting public. Hence, my thumbs up to the credit card payment.

  • not until the back of house system and processes are redesigned to handle refunds or corrections in a timely manner would I ever let them at my credit card or bank balance. It’s one thing to be charged $10 or so by mistake, it’s just plain unacceptable these days to have it take 2 – 3 WEEKS to get refunded.

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