Skip to main content

Over the next few years, we are investing in technology to make it easier for you to use and pay for public transport – and it’s starting this year. By the end of 2024, Aucklanders and visitors to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will be able to more easily pay for buses, trains and ferries.

Later this year, if you’re paying a standard adult (HOP) fare, you will be able to pay for AT buses, trains and ferries with Apple and Google Pay, debit cards and most credit cards in addition to your current AT HOP card. If you qualify for a concession fare, you will continue to use your existing AT HOP card for a little bit longer.

Our recent research showed that 95% of Aucklanders want faster, easier to use and more frequent public transport that goes to more places. Giving you more choice about how you pay for your journey is one of the ways we are doing that.

A total of $23 million has been budgeted to design and implement the contactless payment technology – the first stage of our ticketing transformation. This will be used to upgrade our current systems, and technology, training, testing and customer information programmes.

But that’s not all. We’re also working hard behind the scenes so we’re ready to join the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) in 2026. The NTS is a partnership between the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi and 13 Public Transport Authority partners across the country which will provide a range of easy-to-use payment methods for all public transport in Aotearoa New Zealand. You’ll be able to pay for concession fares using contactless payment devices and the NTS will also introduce a prepaid transit card (similar to your AT HOP card) that you can use to travel on public transport across New Zealand.

You can read more about the NTS on the NZTA website.

Timeline

  • Late 2024: AT introduces contactless payment capability for standard adult fares.
  • Late 2025 to 2026: AT integrates ticketing technology with the NTS national ticketing solution.
  • 2026: Auckland scheduled to join the NTS – introducing contactless payment capability for all fares and a national prepaid transit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use contactless payments?

Later this year, if you’re paying a standard adult fare, you will be able to pay for buses, trains and ferries with Apple and Google Pay, debit cards and most credit cards in addition to your current AT HOP card. If you qualify for a concession fare, you will continue to use your existing AT HOP card.
Some features currently available on AT HOP will not be available on contactless payment cards , including:

  • Concession fares
  • Personalised communications such as disruption and change alerts
  • View your full travel details through MyAT

If you’re a regular traveller who wants access to any of these services you should continue to use your existing AT HOP card.

How will I use my credit card to travel on public transport?

To travel on buses, trains and ferries you will simply need to tag on and off using the same credit or debit card or a payment app on your mobile phone or smart watch, like you do with your AT HOP card. Just make sure you use the same device to tag on and off.

I have a child, secondary/ tertiary student, youth, accessible SuperGold, community connect card concession loaded on my AT AT HOP card. Can the concession be applied if I use a credit or debit card?

If you have a concession fare, please continue to use your existing AT HOP card for now. When we transition to the NTS in 2026, you will be able to pay for concession fares using contactless technology too.

What public transport will I be able to access with a credit or debit card?

This will apply for all Auckland’s buses, ferries (excluding tourist ferries) and trains.

Can I use my phone or smart watch to pay for public transport in Auckland?

If your credit or debit card is loaded onto your smartphone or watch, you can use those to pay as you do instore. Just make sure you use the same device to tag on and off.

What will I see on my credit card statement?

You will see a charge to Auckland Transport for your travel on each day (eg; if you take a bus in each direction in a single day it will appear as one amount on your credit card statement rather than two separate payments).

How do I use public transport if I don’t have a debit or credit card?

If you don’t have a debit or credit card you can still use an AT HOP card to pay for public transport the same as you do now.

Will you be bringing cash payments back onto public transport?

Cash payments were removed from Auckland’s bus network in March 2020. This is in line with payment preferences and international payment trends, and helps our network stay on time by making boarding faster and easier for our customers. We have no plans to reinstate cash payments.

I don’t want to give my child a debit/credit card. Will they still be able to use public transport?

That’s no problem, you can still get an AT HOP card for your child or dependant as you could previously. In fact, we recommend it as it means you’ll pay less for their travel if they’re school or tertiary students.

Can I use overseas credit/debit cards to pay for public transport in Auckland?

Any Visa, Mastercard, American Express or UnionPay credit or debit card can be used to pay for public transport, regardless of country of issue. Please note overseas transaction fees may apply.

Who do I call if I have a problem with my card?

As with paying for any other product or service, please call your card issuer (often your bank) if your card is not performing as you expect.

What happens to the balance on my AT HOP card if I move to using a credit card?

The balance will remain on your AT HOP card until they are discontinued. We expect this process to begin in early-2028. (Please note that any balance not used for a six-year continuous period will be automatically wiped.)

We recommend that you turn off the auto-top up function and use the balance on your AT HOP card prior to moving to using a credit or debit card. If you’d like your balance refunded you can visit one of our 12 Customer Service Centres or follow the online card surrender process on our website.

What will you do with the information you have about me after I cancel my AT HOP card?

Your data will remain lodged against your AT HOP account until you close your account or the technology is retired in 2028.

Will I still receive travel updates via the AT app?

If you’re a regular traveller who wants to continue to receive disruption and change alerts and other notifications based on your personal travel history you should continue to use your existing AT HOP card.

For more general alerts you can fill in the preferences form on the AT app so we know what routes and areas to tell you about.

Will AT have access to my credit card number if I use it to pay for public transport?

We have partnered with Windcave to manage the payment process. AT will not at any stage access or hold any of your card or travel information. Windcave is a respected provider to retail and ecommerce clients worldwide, ensuring safe, smooth and secure payments. Windcave’s technology is certified with all the major credit card schemes and PCI DSS compliant.

What security is in place to protect my card information?

Making sure your card information is secure has been a key consideration throughout the design process. Our contactless payment technology will be PCI compliant and will include technology such as secure token services architecture and encrypted data transmission to ensure your card information is as secure as it can be.

What is this project costing?

A total of $23 million has been budgeted to design and implement contactless payment technology which is the first stage of our ticketing transformation. This will be used to upgrade our current systems, and technology, training, testing and customer information programmes.

We expect the ticketing transformation to deliver over $20 million per year in cost efficiencies when it is complete in 2028. Most importantly, it will make public transport easier to access for more people. Increasing public transport use is critical for Auckland and New Zealand to reduce congestion and emissions, improve our air quality and achieve our climate change reduction obligations. Making public transport easier to access is key to making it a more attractive travel option.

What is the National Ticketing Solution?

The National Ticketing Solution (NTS) is a partnership between the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi and 13 Public Transport Authority partners across New Zealand. It aims to improve public transport for New Zealanders through a standardised approach to paying for public transport which will provide a common customer experience no matter where you are in the country.You will be able to pay for public transport using contactless payment methods including debit or credit cards, mobile phones and smart watches, as well as a NTS enabled prepaid card. Canterbury will be the first region to move to the NTS and Auckland is due to transition to the NTS in 2026

You can find more information about the NTS on the NZTA website

Last updated Back to top