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5 quick tips for using contactless payments

Contactless is a quick and easy way to pay for your trip on public transport on the Opal network.

Five tips that will make it easier to pay for your travel using your American Express, Mastercard or Visa credit or debit card or linked device.

1. Use the same card or linked device, every time

When you tap on and tap off consistently with the same credit card, debit card or linked device you will receive the same travel benefits and rewards on an Adult Opal card.

The Opal card readers recognise the token on a card or device, not the account itself, so please ensure you’re using the same card or device each and every time.

2. Watch out for card clash

Card clash happens when you tap on with more than one card at the same time.

Make sure you keep the card you want to pay with separate from any other contactless credit or debit cards or Opal cards and not in the same purse, wallet or phone case when tapping on and off at an Opal reader.

Only tap on and tap off with the card you wish to use on the Opal reader.

If the Opal reader detects more than one card:

  • You could be charged two maximum default fares for your trip - one card when you tapped on and another card when you tapped off
  • It could take payment from the wrong card
  • It might not make a payment, and you won't be travelling with a valid ticket, so you may be charged a fine
  • The gates may not open

3. Check your contactless activity online

Log in to your account to view a breakdown of your recent contactless payment trips.

You can see your last 10 trips paid with your contactless credit card, debit card or linked device.

4. Use one contactless card or device per person

You can only pay for one Adult Opal fare with a contactless card or device.

If you are travelling in a group, each person will have to use a separate contactless payment card, linked device or other method of payment such as an Opal card or Opal single trip ticket.

Joint account holders can each tap on to pay for one fare, per card, per trip – that is, each using a separate contactless card or linked device.

Contactless cards or linked devices which have just been used to tap on cannot be handed onto other people in your group for them to tap on with.

5. Your fares will be accumulated

Like Opal card fares, contactless fares are calculated according to the distance you travelled – from where you tap on to where you tap off, and are therefore calculated at the end of your journey.

After you tap on, a pre-authorisation $1 charge will appear as a pending transaction on your statement. As you travel throughout the day, fares will be accumulated and the total cost of the day’s travel will be processed at the end of each day. The total cost will replace the $1 charge.

The description on your credit or debit card statement will appear as ‘TransportforNSW Tap’ or ‘TransportforNSW travel Sydney’. The date the payment appears may vary from the actual travel date depending on your bank’s processing time.

Find out about contactless payments