Victoria is set to trial a new smartphone-based payments app that will allow commuters to tap on and off across the myki ticketing network using their device.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today announced the upcoming trial of the app - dubbed mobile myki – that will initially be limited to Android users.
The state government has been looking to introduce contactless technology since handing the contract for the myki system back to incumbent NTT Data in July 2016 for $700 million.
The app, which will augment the existing physical myki card, will work with “existing myki ticket barriers and card readers” across the transport network by leveraging near field communications (NFC) technology.
This dodges the need for new infrastructure or equipment to be built, which other jurisdictions have also been keen to avoid.
The app will also “allow passengers to top up on the go, check the balance of their myki at any time, avoid queues for ticketing machines and reduce the chance of forgetting or losing a physical card”.
It will be trialled on “a limited, industry-based test group of [Android] users” over the “coming months”, before being extended to the wider public later in the year.
“We’re trialling this new technology as part of our ongoing work to make public transport easy and accessible for more Victorians,” Allan said.
“Over the next year we will watch how the trial goes, and make sure we get the technology right before making it available for all Victorians.”
The government expects the trial will run until early next year before it will make a decision on whether to extend mobile myki to all passengers.
Both NSW and South Australia are currently trialling similar smartphone payment methods on parts of their public transport systems.
Transport for NSW's trial involves offering contactless payments via contactless-enabled American Express, Mastercard or Visa cards and smartphones to commuters on all Sydney ferries and the inner west light rail network.
In SA, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure is also looking to test the feasibility of smartphone-based payments on Adelaide's public transport network using two different technology approaches.