Auckland Transport

What is an AT HOP card & how it works

AT HOP card

How the AT HOP card works

The AT HOP card system is 'card present'. That means all information is stored on the card itself rather than online. The card must be shown to card readers (at a train station, ferry terminal or on the bus) for the card information to update. Card readers update by uploading and downloading stored information from the central AT HOP system, which can take up to 24 hours.

AT HOP is a smartcard, but it’s not magic. Because everything is stored on the card itself, online transactions won’t show on your card until it’s next presented to a HOP device. In the meantime, your money is sitting under pending transactions in your online account.

Online transactions go through the system overnight and are picked up by the buses (at the depot) ready to jump on your card when you tag. Worst case scenario, if your bus doesn’t return to the depot to pick up the latest information it might take up to 72 hours but this hardly ever happens!

If you add funds via your online account before 10pm on any day, those funds should be available on your card and in your online account the next day when you tag on to an AT HOP reader or go through the electronic gates at a train station. In some cases it may take up to 72 hours for funds to be available on your AT HOP card and in your online account.

Using the card

  • The AT HOP card uses Near Field Communication (NFC). Any other device or card with the same tech in the “near field” will also try to “communicate” but in a different language - Remove the card from your bag or wallet so there are no arguments. 

  • It’s tap and go, not pay wave – hold the card flat and still in front of the reader for a second rather than swipe or wave across the front.

Online transactions sit in an action list waiting for you to tag. To keep the action list manageable, online transactions expire after 60 days but if you give us a call we can reactivate it. 





We would like you to know that our AT HOP terms of use have changed. Terms of use of the AT HOP cards are available here.