The front of the train while stopped to pick up travellers at the OR Tambo International Airport Gautrain station. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Gautrain users will be able to ride the speed train by making payments with their contactless (tap and go) bank cards from October 31, the company said. 

This means that train users will be able to ride the train without possessing the Gautrain gold card, which is sold at a fee. 

Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said the company was constantly looking at ways to make travel easier for commuters. 

“We strive to keep abreast of change and best practices and we continuously seek out opportunities to make travel on board Gautrain easier and more convenient for the passenger. On 31 October, Gautrain will become one of the first public transport systems in Africa to accept contactless bank cards as payment,” she said.

The new tap and go payment method, means it will be easier for non-frequent Gautrain users to use the train. 

She said the tap and go payment facility was an additional payment method and said the company’s gold passenger cards would remain in use. 

But the operators of the Gautrain are aware of some challenges that may arise with contactless bank card payments, especially as some passengers use their wallets and purses to scan at the fare gate without actively removing the card from the wallet/purse.  

Commuters at the OR Tambo International Airport Gautrain station. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Commuters at the OR Tambo International Airport Gautrain station. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

With the tap and go payments to be activated from October 31, Gautrain operations are urging passengers to “to take care” to avoid card clashing, which could lead to train users being double billed on their Gautrain passenger card and all other bank cards which had the tap and go payment facility activated.

“We advise passengers not to tag in and out with a wallet/purse to avoid card clash. Whether passengers choose to use a contactless bank card or not, from 31 October 2019, passengers must take care to avoid card clash by tagging in and out with the card that he/she intends to travel with (either a Gautrain card or a contactless bank card) and not with a wallet or purse. 

“Tagging in by holding a wallet/purse to a fare gate may result in card clash as the fare gate reader is unable to determine which card a passenger intends to travel with. As a result, the fare may be charged to the card the passenger did not intend to travel with, or, more than one of the cards contained in the passenger’s wallet or purse may be charged. 

“To avoid card clash, passengers must remove the card they intend to pay with from their wallet/purse and tag in and out with that same card,” Nayager explained.

Customers who do get double billed would be refunded in accordance with the company’s standard claims process, said Nayager.

IOL