The NSW Government has just finished its rollout of contactless payments to all train stations, buses and ferries. It means we no longer need the inconvenient Opal card, topping up an Opal card is also a pain if you have not set up an account and registered it.
There is one massive oversight with the contactless payments system. There is no actual way of checking if someone has tapped their contactless card to make payment.
A few days ago I was on the train when Authorised revenue protection officers came through checking peoples cards, one lady approximately 48 years old, said ‘the man at the station said to pay using my credit card, so I just tapped it. I don’t travel very much’.
The revenue protection officers were baffled, they could not scan and check the card and did not know what to do. They tried, but nothing happened. They looked at each other, one revenue protection officer said ‘next time get an Opal card’. and they moved on to the next passengers.
A few days later I decided to pay by tapping my credit card, did I really want to go upstairs to the single machine available to top up my Opal card and then possibly miss my train, hell no.
During this trip, revenue protection officers came along. The revenue protection officers asked me for my Opal card, I responded I do not use Opal anymore and pay using my credit card. So I presented my credit card as a virtual card on my phone.
The revenue protection officers pretended to scan the card, and then said see it doesn’t hurt. I pulled them up on a few things. The card never scanned because phones will always vibrate and the card will display a tick on it. None of this happened.
To top this off, it is worth noting that it would breach privacy laws for revenue protection officers or Police to look at your bank transactions for verification of purchase. It is also not currently possible for the ticket scanning devices to check last transactions of bank statements. Leaving the NSW Government, revenue protection officers and Police in a difficult situation.
I guess for now we will have to put up with revenue protection officers pretending to do their job.