Improvements to the Opal Travel app

Customers plan over eight million trips each month through the app.

man with smartphone at train station

The issue

Transport for NSW needed to improve the usability of the Opal Travel app.

The challenge was to prioritise improvements that met the needs of Opal customers, specifically adult cardholders, including how they use the newly developed contactless payment system.

The changes had to balance customers’ use of other features, such as trip planning and Opal top-ups.

What the government did

Extensive feedback was sought to improve the design and functionality of the Opal Travel app. This included enabling customers to view their trips and payment history on the contactless payment system, plan journeys easily, and facilitate top-up payments.

Customer research included surveys, prototype testing, formal 1:1 customer interviews, and other feedback processes. It showed that customers preferred different features, which impacted where each feature was located in the app, the icon size, placement and information layout.

The research determined that contactless payment, top-ups and trip planning were the features most desirable on the home screen.

The change provided a simple navigation and made it faster to access services most frequently used.

What was achieved

There has been immense uptake of the contactless payment system. It’s the leading channel of choice to view contactless trip history – 80 per cent of all views.

The app improvements were made in October 2019. From September to November 2019:

  • trip planning use increased 15 per cent
  • top-ups via the app increased 9 per cent
  • inefficient navigation via the home screen fell by 26 per cent.

What customers are saying

A much better user experience! The new update has definitely improved the look and feel, and I like that I can better manage my account. Great job, keep it up.


The app is easy to use. Updated and quick. Recently it has been improved even more. Something good.

Travel app

Opal Travel app icon

Opal Travel

Opal Travel is the official app for managing your travel across the Opal network in Sydney and greater New South Wales. Use the app to add value to your Opal card remotely, enable auto top-ups, view your travel history and access other useful public transport information.

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