Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Newsagents set to see less public transport ticket related traffic

Mark Fletcher
November 29th, 2018 · 7 Comments

The announcement this week by the NSW state government that people will be able to use their credit / debit card to travel on trains is another indicator that newsagents should not rely on agency business.

Sydney commuters and tourists can now pay for their train rides by tapping on with a credit or debit card, instead of an Opal.

The NSW Government announced the system has been rolled out across the city’s entire train network, after trials on ferries and light rail.

The changes bring Sydney in line with other contactless payment methods in other international cities, such as London.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the new system would not replace Opal cards.

Government and privately owned businesses that rely on newsagents and other retailers to act as agents for collecting money are focussed on cutting costs. A retail network is expensive, despite agency fees being fractional. This move in NSW makes sense.

From a traveller perspective, not having to go to a shop to load money on a card to use on a train is a good thing. However, it increases the risk of minor card fraud.

From the transport operator perspective, it more directly connects them with their customer.

Sure, there are restrictions on card use, such as the handling of concession pricing. However, over time they will resolve this. People want fewer cards. Companies like Apple want people to replace all their cards with their phone.

Thinking more broadly on the topic of agency related business, my advice has been and continues to be that I see no upside whatsoever in agency lines for small business retailers. They are inefficient in terms of basket depth and often come with compliance requirements that can play against what is best for the long term health of the business.

14 likes

Category: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // Nov 30, 2018 at 2:37 PM

    How does it increase the risk to a traveler of minor fraud?

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  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Nov 30, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    A stolen card can be used for travel before a card is realised to be stolen. This is what police say re use of credit / debit cards instead of transport cards.

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  • 3 Jason // Dec 2, 2018 at 8:54 PM

    Not so much a risk to the traveller then, it’s covered by the bank (also the traveller stole the card…)

    I’d much rather someone steal my card and use it to to tap on for a train ride than go on a spending spree!

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  • 4 Graeme // Dec 2, 2018 at 10:32 PM

    jason,
    excellent point $20 to say $30. max. versus whatever you can get away with.
    in my opinion we have seen services of this kind Phone card, Opal, even Green Slip come and go and forever it will be so like much of B&M retail it introduces the product and eventuallly moves to online. So What it’s a service if yo want it take it on that basis, use the customer contact convert them shop sales or ban the service altogether and don’t have that contact -individual choice-suits some not others. strip shpos or high street may suit Shopping Centres maybe not.
    The credit card or Opal card preferance is individual and has no take on the permancy of usage to the retalier as that preferance is individual and has been available on line since year dot.
    All these services are temporary which is the main pont of th argument however one closes the other creates another opportunity-That’s retail.

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  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Dec 3, 2018 at 2:41 AM

    Jason that is one way of looking at it. Police tell me it makes card theft near transit locations more appealing and this if where travellers are affected – because of the downtime without a card.

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  • 6 Jason // Dec 5, 2018 at 8:01 PM

    The sooner people realise they don’t have their card the better! Even less fraud (that the bank will pay for anyway) if people realise at the station they don’t have their card.

    Great news (despite your claims to the contrary)

    0 likes

  • 7 Mark Fletcher // Dec 5, 2018 at 8:06 PM

    Oh Jason, I have not claimed to the contrary.

    1 likes

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