Mastercard Expands Partnership with Transport for New South Wales with Faster, Flexible Digital Payment Options for Sydney’s Commuters

December 8, 2020 | Purchase, NY and Sydney, Australia

Partnership enhances Mastercard’s transit payment options for consumers

With the global economy racing to embrace digital payments, Mastercard research shows 66 percent of consumers use as much, or more contactless payment experiences compared to before the pandemic1. Meeting this demand, Mastercard is working with its urban mobility partners to apply digital payment innovation to transit environments in order to provide commuters with fast, convenient and secure payment experiences across whichever travel mode they choose.

Mastercard and Transport for New South Wales (NSW), the transportation authority for the State of New South Wales in Australia, recently announced a partnership to deliver a trial of the Opal digital card to the transport users in NSW, by offering a next-generation payments platform.

Mastercard’s solution gives transit agencies the ability to design, develop and deploy customised prepaid digital payment solutions, delivering essential contactless transit experiences to riders. Transport for NSW customers benefit from an easy-to-use prepaid digital wallet allowing them to tap-and-go on all forms of public transport across the state of New South Wales using their mobile or wearable device with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Google Pay functionality will also be made available in the near future.

Mastercard worked closely with its partners at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and EML Payments Limited to bring the Opal digital card pilot to life.

“People want to get from place-to-place, and they want to do it fast. If you’re a user of public transportation in New South Wales our collective partnership now allows you to tap-and-go on the transit system right away using a digital Prepaid card,” said a Transport for New South Wales spokesperson. “The Opal digital card delivers a fast, easy and secure payments experience to get you faster to where you need to go.”

“Mastercard is thrilled to work with Transport for NSW with the support of its partners at Commonwealth Bank of Australia and EML Payments Limited to help them deliver increased choice, flexibility and confidence in transit experiences for their customers. Consumer needs have evolved rapidly over recent months and it’s important that all parties work together to leverage payment innovations like Mastercard’s solution to deliver safe and convenient experiences,” said Sue Kelsey, Executive Vice President of Consumer Solutions at Mastercard. “Using Mastercard’s new prepaid technology platform and Managed Services capabilities, Mastercard’s customers can easily design, develop and deploy customised digital payment experiences their customers expect and deserve today.”

“CBA is delighted to be part of the transport payment solution that offers a digital solution to commuters,” said Andrew Hinchliff, Group Executive for Institutional Banking & Markets at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “We look forward to Sydney commuters enjoying an alternative option in how they choose to pay for their travel, and hope they enjoy the speed, convenience and security that it offers.”

“EML is delighted to partner with Transport for New South Wales, Mastercard and Commonwealth Bank of Australia to deliver a truly digital payments experience that revolutionises the way commuters think about and pay for travel,” said Andrew Betts, Group Chief Risk Officer at EML Payments Limited. “The move away from a plastic card solution to a tokenised offering provides greater security for commuters and from a corporate responsibility standpoint is environmentally friendly.”

Driving Flexibility and Scale

An alternative to the current physical card, the Opal digital card delivers additional options and enhanced convenience to commuters. With the new digital solution, riders no longer need to stand in line to get a new card or top up their existing card at ticketing vending machines within train stations. The sign up and the setup process is easy and can be done in a few simple steps via the mobile device riders already carry with them from the convenience of home.

Commuters receive an Opal digital card shortly after signing up on the Transport for NSW website. The Opal digital card can then be seamlessly and securely added to Apple Wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch, or Samsung Pay, and soon Google Pay, on Android devices. Funds can be added easily by linking an existing debit or credit card.

Transport for NSW customers can then simply tap-and-go by displaying their mobile device at transit turnstiles to get on their way. By replacing a physical transit card with a digital prepaid option, riders receive essential contactless commuting experiences and can be confident that they always have enough funds for journeys by benefiting from automatic low balance alerts and automatic balance top ups.

Today’s announcement builds on Mastercard’s long-standing partnership with Transport for NSW, who joined the City Possible network in 2018, and the company’s broader commitment to making cities more efficient and more sustainable through innovative Transit Solutions in over 330+ cities worldwide. Mastercard is also committed to helping cities upgrade transit payment infrastructure through their Global Capital Alliance that helps mobilise financing to help increase access to public transport through deployment of innovative technology.

Enabling Global Scale for Businesses

Mastercard’s new prepaid technology platform and Managed Services capabilities provide a simple way for businesses to incorporate payments into their existing digital ecosystems. Mastercard’s accessible Application Programming Interface (API)-led technology has been built for developers and businesses, enabling rapid expansion of their programs in a fast, easy, flexible and secure way through a single connection. When Mastercard’s solution is combined with the power of Mastercard’s Prepaid Management Services (MPMS) business, customers can benefit from a one-stop-shop for payments enablement, including managed services such as, compliance support, finance & reconciliation services, marketing analytics and insights, back-office operation management and customer support. With MPMS, Mastercard’s solution is available in multiple markets including Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and countries in the European Union, among others.

Mastercard and Transport for NSW plan to go live later in 2020 with the new Mastercard technology.


Notes to editors:

1 Mastercard proprietary study conducted between September 7-September 20, 2020 among adults 18+. 2,238 interviews were conducted across 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and The United States of America.

Media Contacts

Luke McClelland, Mastercard
+61 417 761 139 |
Katie Priebe, Mastercard
+1 (914) 707-9822 |
Reegan Saiani, Agency (Eleven PR)
+61 412 427 470 |