Contactless payment to be rolled out to Sydney light rail

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This doesn't mean Opal is being superseded. Contactless payments at the moment are only available for Adult prices.

It's the system we've always wanted, and yet no one has really provided: a contactless payment initiative that used what we already had rather than forced us to adopt yet another card and another mechanism.

"It won't replace the benefits in terms of those that exist attached to the Opal card", Constance said.

But from this week, not all parts of the system will require the Opal card.

Any American Express, Mastercard or Visa card with contactless technology enabled can now be used to tap on and off on select public transport in Sydney, after being trialled exclusively with Mastercard payments on the Manly Ferry in January.

Commuters travelling on Sydney Ferries and the Inner West Light Rail can now leave their Opal card at home and instead tap on with their credit card, mobile wallet, smartwatch or other contactless payment devices.

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The expansion of contactless payments technology also provides a convenient option for those who do not use public transport frequently, are visiting from overseas or interstate, or simply just left their Opal card at home. He also said he wants to expand contactless payments to trains by the end of the year (no word on buses yet, sadly).

Executive General Manager of Cash-flow and Transaction Services at Commonwealth Bank, Michael Eidel, said cities and public transport authorities across Australia are "taking greater interest in the value this payments technology can deliver for both customers and transport providers alike".

But tapping your credit card means you'll miss out on the benefits of regularly using your Opal card, such as half-price fares after eight trips in a week.

If you usually have Child, Concession or Seniors travel concession, you should stick to your Opal card for now.

American Express wouldn't say if or when the contactless support would grow to other state services, but did say "we're continuing to work with transit agencies across Australia for ways our card members can use their cards to pay for transport", so we'd hazard a guess that if it's not rolled out everywhere, it wouldn't take long for that to happen.

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