Sydney commuters 'tap' with credit cards

You Can Now Use Your Credit Card Instead Of An Opal Card

Light rail and ferry users can - as of this morning - toss their Opal Cards into the sea and instead use credit or debit cards on the service.

Following a trial on ferries between Circular Quay and Manly, the so-called contactless technology has been expanded to ferries across the city and the inner west light rail line between Central Station and Dulwich Hill.

The "contactless payment scheme" came into play on Monday and is expected to be rolled out to trains before the end of the year, said NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

Credit and debit cards will not have the same benefits as Opal Cards, with weekly discounts and $2.50 Gold Opal fares only available using the current system.

"It compliments the foundation of Opal", he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

It will allow customers to tap on and off with a contactless-enabled American Express, Mastercard or Visa card, as well as smartphones, tablets and smart watches linked to their Opal cards.

Mr Constance stressed the new payment method was an "Australian first" but would not replace existing Opal cards, adding that the multimillion dollar system, which only began rolling out in the state eight years ago, was "here to stay".

"It's created to be able to be convenient for tourists [and] for those who might have left their Opal card at home".

Only adult fares can now be purchased using the new contactless payment method.

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