Opal Hero Image
If you live in Sydney, you will be well aware that the NSW Government has begun rolling out the Opal smart card ticketing system, which to date has been quite successful for both the company (who intern operate London’s Oyster card system) and the NSW Government. With the rollout expected to be completed within the first two weeks of April (next month), the NSW Government on Wednesday officially launched new merchandise to complement this – Phone Covers!

On the launch of the new covers, Gladys Berejiklian, Transport Minister for NSW, said

The vast majority of customers use their smartphone when travelling so I am excited a new range of Opal phone covers will mean convenient access to the network will always be within arm’s reach.

The new covers, which are available for the iPhone 5 and 5s as well as the Galaxy S3 and S4 (and we hope the S5 soon) range in price from $9.95 to $14.95 plus postage and handling and are available for purchase through a new website – shop.transportnsw.info.

Users can then select from a selected range of colours which we have below for you. There are options for either a flip case which seems to be made from faux leather or a silicon or plastic cover that just slips over your smartphone with the Opal card slipping in at the rear of the device and cover.

Galaxy S3 Covers

Galaxy S4 Covers

At this stage there’s no word if the range will expand to other Galaxy phones or into other brands, however you can make suggestions or pass on thoughts for new items to be considered for sale for Opal Card users and/or smartphone cases through the website directly. You can also subscribe to keep in the loop for when new products do become available.

Are you an Opal card user? Would you consider buying one of these covers or have you found better alternatives? We would like to hear your thoughts below

Source(s): Transport NSW Shop, and Transport for NSW Press Release
  • vtwkang

    I’ll buy this case just because it’s so gimmicky in a cute way.

  • chris

    NFC uses a Mifare reader and card ID, Mifare has a unique serial number for each device or card. in most cases this is all that is used by the controlling system, the card itself can have varying amounts of storage, e.g. 4k of encrypted unique data but that is rarely used so most are just the serial number. When you buy the dots for NFC you either chose to program a set of instructions based upon the dot’s serial number or you can program a series of commands into the storage available on the dot if the dot is of a supported format.

    The opal system probably isn’t even using Mifare,, this works on the 13.5mhz range. Our credit cards use mifare so that is why NFC payment systems work, your unique ID is matched to your account and more. If opal does not use Mifare, which I would suggest is correct (if you put two mifare cards together say the opal card and NFC equipped phone or opal and credit card then which of the two mifare serial numbers do you use, conflict occurs) then your phone is useless in this case, NFC means nothing.

    • chris

      I take that back, they are Mifare, just tested with a multi-format reader.

      As such there is a chance they could have used NFC, but that would have required an app to work, totally possible.

      But what this does suggest is that if you have your Opal card in your wallet or purse with credit cards chances are it won’t work.

      This case (which mind you you can just shove the card under your existing standard case) will require that you disable NFC if you want to ensure the Opal card is read accurately each time. Imagine rushing to the train swiping and getting an incorrect read, getting to the other end of your trip and being charged the full rate because you forgot to swipe on…… this through no fault of your own.

      Message is, be wary, test before you decide where to keep your card or just pull the thing out each time.

      • No_Underscore

        Correct on stacking of NFC cards, i have my transport card in a separate ‘wing’ of my wallet that i can zap at the readers, such that i don’t get interference from other NFC cards.

        Yeah, nothing special really about the cases, price tags seem reasonable enough to make people consider it.

  • No_Underscore

    I don’t want a case to put my card in, i don’t want to even have a card… I want to use the NFC built into my phone to do all this.

    Its no difference to me having my card in my wallet and zapping it like that… guess its a bit different if you palm your phone around everywhere.

    What happens with these case and cards when you have NFC on, does it beep and think its trying to do something everytime you unlock your phone?… are you forced to turn NFC off?
    I just know that when i rest my phone on my wallet it thinks the cards inside want to be actioned.

  • vijay alapati

    there must be cheaper options in Ebay already, why not use NFC for android….the 2 android phones S3 and S4 which have covers availability have NFC built in and they both run 4.2 above. come on guys…

  • Adeline

    Good idea. Unfortunately it won’t work for me: I have two Opal cards (one for work-related trips, one for personal trips) so I can’t use this without both of them tapping on. I’ll just keep using my two pocket phone cover and take the Opal cards out as required…