Card To The Future

Fiji has joined 71 other countries in cashless travel. Some of these countries have been using this system for over two decades now. Some countries have been using same cards
05 Oct 2017 16:05
Card To The Future
e-Transport cards used in buses across the country

Fiji has joined 71 other countries in cashless travel.

Some of these countries have been using this system for over two decades now. Some countries have been using same cards to purchase their groceries, to pay for their travel in trains, taxis, ferries and of course in buses.

There has been intense debate on social media on the first few days of e-Transport implementation and it has been rife with criticism.

However, Fiji is not the first country to go cashless in public transport travel and it most certainly is not the last country to make this change.

In Singapore, they plan to have cashless travel implemented countrywide by 2020. Hong Kong’s success story is resounding. They have changed the face of public transport travel. All these countries faced teething problems, none had smooth transition, all had hiccups but it has since worked out for the best.


This has been the second attempt to introduce cashless travel in Fiji. Once before there had been attempts but because all stakeholders were not cooperating, this failed.

Now, we have a second chance to make this work.

Use of the e-Transport card is much more than stopping pilfering of bus operator’s money.

For example, the use of e-Transport card on Day 1, K R Latchan which services routes Suva -Nausori areas carried approximately 10,000 passengers.

They and all other bus operators know how many senior citizens have travelled and from which areas, they know how many students travelled in each of their routes, they know how many social welfare recipients travelled on any given day.

Interestingly, the card which travellers in Hong Kong had initially used for cashless commute on public transports is today being used to pay for dining out, shopping for clothes and groceries, at cinemas and almost all of their 7/11 outlets.

The Octopus Card has been used in Hong Kong for cashless travel since 1997. They started this initiative and grew it to include payment for various other things in 20 years.

Launched in September 1997 to collect fares for the territory’s mass transit system, the Octopus card system is the second largest contactless smart card system in the world, after the Korean Upass, and has since grown into a widely used payment system for all public transport in Hong Kong, leading to the development of Oyster Card in London.

The Octopus card has also grown to be used for payment in many retail shops in Hong Kong, from convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, on-street parking meters, car parks, to other point-of-sale applications such as service stations and vending machines.

In Australia, different states have their own cashless cards but the most popular one is Opal.

Adelaide has Metrocard and Adelaide Metro (ACS) which has been in use since late 2011.

Travellers in Brisbane use the Go card called TransLink which has been in use since 2008.

Canberra has MyWay Transport card and they switched over to cashless travel in 2011.

Northern Territory has what they call the Tap and Ride Card which they have been using since 2014.

Perth has SmartRider and Transperth since January 2007

Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter, Newcastle, Illawarra, Wollongong and Southern Highlands all use Opal for ferries, buses, trains and light rail.

Other Australian states have their own variations of the e-Transport Cards as well.

Delhi has been using Metro cards which are used for train and bus travel payments.

New Zealand has seven different types of cards for different cities for their travels.

African countries such as Tanzania, Namibia and Nigeria have been using similar systems for since 2009.




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