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How to use contactless

Simply tap on and tap off with your contactless card or device on the Opal reader to pay the Adult fare and receive all the same travel benefits. Contactless payments are available on all public transport in the Opal network. 

Reduced travel fares are not currently available using contactless payments. If you are eligible for concession or reduced travel fares, use your Opal card to travel.

Tips to pay the right fare



Use the same card or device for all your travel

Make sure you tap on and tap off with the same card or linked device at the start and end of your trip. Use the same card or linked device for your travel all week to receive the same travel benefits and rewards of an Adult Opal card.

Always tap on and tap off

Tap on at the start and tap off at the end of each trip to ensure you are travelling with a valid ticket.

Separate your cards

Always separate your cards when you tap on and tap off so your preferred card is charged. 

See more on tapping on and tapping off

Contactless frequently asked questions

Why doesn't my card or device work?

If the card or device is still not recognised, this means there is an issue with the card you are trying to pay with. The Opal reader will display a ‘Card Not Valid’ message with an error number.

Below is a list of error numbers and an explanation of what they mean:

  • 87: The card is old and does not have the features to support contactless payments for transport.
  • 88: The card has insufficient funds, or has been reported lost or stolen. Outstanding fares for any prior travel also need to be settled before the same card or device can be used again to travel. You can settle outstanding payments here.
  • 89: You are trying to use a pre-paid card or your credit or debit card may not be accepted in the Opal network.
  • 91: You are either using a card other than Amex, Mastercard or Visa, or you are using a card that is not contactless-enabled.
  • Try again - use one card only: The reader has detected more than one contactless payment card or Opal card. Please separate your cards before you tap on and tap off.

You'll need to contact your card issuer for any of the above issues or if you’re unclear why the card was declined.

You can still use an Opal card, Opal single trip ticket or a different contactless card to travel.

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

Make sure you keep your contactless credit or debit cards and your Opal cards separate and not in the same purse, wallet or phone case when tapping on and off an Opal reader.

Only tap on and tap off with the card or device 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

Tips to avoid card clash:

  • Don't tap on or tap off with a wallet, purse or phone cover containing multiple cards on the Opal reader
  • Keep your Opal card separate from your contactless credit or debit cards
  • Only tap on and tap off with the card you wish to use on the Opal reader

Contactless cards and devices cannot be used to pay On Demand public transport fares.

You can only pay for one Adult Opal fare per card or device.

Travel in a group

If you’re travelling in a family or a group, each person must have their own card or device to travel, otherwise, they’ll need to pay using an Opal card or single trip ticket.

Contactless cards or linked devices which have just been used to tap on cannot be handed back for any additional passengers to tap on with.

Find out more about group travel and tapping on and off

Joint account holders

If you have a joint account, you are both able to use your different contactless payment card or device to travel.

This is because if you link a payment card to a device, both the card and device are considered to be different payment ‘tokens’. That means that one person can travel using the card and one person can travel using a linked device at the same time. Both ‘tokens’ will be treated as separate devices, meaning that the day and week caps apply to each.

You must each tap on and tap off with different cards or devices to pay for one fare, per card, per trip.

You can travel at the same time and each card or device will be charged separately.

Fares and payment information

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.

Like Adult Opal card fares, your contactless fare depends on when, where, and how you are travelling, and any Opal benefits such as discounts and capped fares that apply.

You can estimate your fare before you travel using the Trip Planner or the Opal Travel app.

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

Institution processing times differ so the transaction date on your statement may not be the exact date that you travelled.

Transport for NSW processes payments at 4am the day after travel has taken place. You may see delayed transactions or fare adjustments on your statement up to seven business days after you travelled. This is normal and may occur for various reasons, including when you qualify for an Opal Daily, Weekly or Weekend Travel Cap. If you wish to query the charge, please contact your card issuer after seven business days have passed.

When you pay your fare using a contactless card or device, the Opal reader applies a series of safety protocols including end-to-end encryption, to ensure contactless payments and fare compliance checks are processed in line with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).

Refunds and fare adjustments

  • If you believe your card has been used fraudulently you should contact the issuing bank immediately.
  • If you believe you have been charged an incorrect fare, find out more about the refund process for contactless.

Check your contactless activity

  • View your last 10 trips using contactless payments by entering your card details.

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More on how contactless works

Tap on at the start and tap off at the end on the Opal readers using contactless (card or device).