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How to use the Opal digital card

Use your Opal digital card in the same way you currently use your Opal card or contactless payment method when tapping on and tapping off within the Opal network.

Before you start travelling, add your Opal digital card to your digital wallet before using it at Opal readers.

When using public transport, you need to tap on with your Opal digital card when you board and tap off when you arrive at your stop, station or wharf. Even when you have reached your Opal daily, weekly or weekend travel caps, you must still tap on and tap off for every trip. If you are transferring to another service, you need to tap on again and tap off at your destination.

Find out more about tapping on and tapping off

Make sure your device has enough charge to tap off otherwise you'll pay the maximum default fare.

You must ensure your device has enough battery to complete your journey as Authorised Officers have the right to ask to see your ticket – in this case, the card or device you tapped on with – at any time.

If you cannot produce your ticket for inspection by an Authorised Officer you may be issued with a fine of $200 (Maximum $550).

Your Opal digital card can be used on a device which has access to your digital wallet. For example Apple phones and Apple watches have access to the Apple Pay digital wallet. Please note your Opal digital card can only be added to one of your devices one at a time.

When using your Opal digital card you are allowed to pay for one Adult Opal fare per device. If you’re travelling in a family or a group, each person must have their own card and device to travel.

Opal digital cards are recognised by Opal readers when they are activated and ‘tapped’. When a card has been recognised by an Opal reader, the reader displays a message whether the card is valid or not valid.

For Apple device users:

As you approach the Opal reader, do one of the following:

  • On an iPhone with Face ID: Double-click the side button, select your Opal digital card, then glance at iPhone to authenticate with Face ID, or enter your passcode. Position the top of iPhone within a few centimetres of the contactless reader at the Opal reader until you see Done and a checkmark on the screen.
  • On an iPhone with Touch ID: With the Lock Screen showing on your device, double-click the Home button, select your Opal digital card, then rest your finger on Touch ID. Position the top of iPhone within a few centimetres of the contactless reader at the Opal reader until you see Done and a checkmark on the screen.
  • On Apple Watch: Double-click the side button, select your Opal digital card, hold your watch near the reader.

For Samsung device users:

Samsung phones have an additional feature called ‘Samsung Pay Transit card’. It can be set to automatically activate Opal readers when tapping. The Opal digital card can be selected as a ‘transit’ card.

If you don’t have ‘Samsung Pay Transit card’ enabled, then ensure you choose the Opal digital card from your digital wallet before tapping on and off.

Further information about setting up this feature on your Samsung phone is available here.

When tapping on and off, you should hear the bell sound and the words 'Tap success' will appear on a green screen on the Opal reader.

Keep your device separate

To make sure your Opal digital card, on your chosen device, is charged, make sure you separate your device from other contactless cards or devices when tapping on and tapping off. If you’re using your phone, this includes phone covers that can store cards.

Use the same device on each trip

Make sure you tap on and tap off with the same device for all your travel throughout the week to receive the same travel benefits and rewards of an Adult Opal card.

You could be charged two maximum default fares if you tapped on with your Opal digital card then tapped off with a different digital or physical card. This is called ‘card clash’.

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 plastic and/or digital cards:

  • 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.

Using different devices and/or cards when tapping on and tapping off is recognised by the system as two different cards incurring two fares. The system will assume you travelled the furthest distance provided by the service you were on. You will be charged the default fare. The default fare is the highest fare for that service.

The fare will be automatically deducted from the payment method that is linked to the digital wallet card you used.

However, you will never be charged over the Daily Travel Cap.

If you have been charged the wrong fare because the reader was not working and you could not successfully tap on or off, then you can apply for a fare adjustment.

Upon request, you must present the device you tapped on or tapped off with to an Authorised Officer. If you present a device that was not used to tap, it will result in a failed check (even if the device is linked to an Opal digital card).

They will scan your device in your presence to confirm if you are using your Opal digital card or device correctly.

Authorised Officers will see one of three results:

You are compliant: fare payment has been confirmed and you do not need to do anything.

You are not compliant: the card or device presented to the Authorised Officer was unsuccessful or was not used to tap on or tap off and you may be issued a caution or fine.

Overnight check needed: fare payment cannot be confirmed at this time so a check will be conducted overnight. If you are deemed to have a valid ticket there will be no further action. However, if you were not deemed to hold a valid ticket you will be charged a default fare. If your card or device is found to be non-compliant more than once in 12 months, the card and any linked devices will be blocked from using contactless payment to travel for 12 months.

The Opal Digital Card is issued on behalf of Transport for New South Wales by EML Payment Solutions Limited ABN 30 131 436 532 and will be provisioned into a Mobile Wallet on a Mobile Device. The Opal Digital Card is managed by Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 145 452 044. Please read the full terms and conditions for the Opal Digital Card available at transportnsw.info/opal-digital-terms. Cardholders will also be required to accept the relevant terms and conditions relating to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, available at transportnsw.info/opal-digital-terms-conditions.