Euronet Worldwide Inc.’s epay division will install and run the retail operations of Sydney’s much-awaited smart card transit system, the electronic-payments processor announced in a recent statement.

Leawood, Kan.-based epay joins Cubic Corp., Downer EDI Ltd., Parkeon Ltd. and the Commonwealth Bank in helping to support the ticketing venture.

In May, the companies formed the Pearl Consortium, to which Sydney’s Public Transport Ticketing Corp. awarded a contract to oversee the adoption of the smart card ticketing system. Downer and Parkeon will provide the smart card system, including the onboard readers, and Commonwealth Bank will process the card transactions. Cubic will manage the entire system.

In a statement, the authority valued the contract at AU$398 million (US$337 million or 275 million euros) to design, develop, implement and maintain the system through 2024.

Epay will offer Sydney’s customers the ability to buy smart cards and load funds into their card accounts at 2,000 retail locations, including convenience stores, supermarkets, news agencies and petrol stations in the greater Sydney area, according to Grant Sheppard, managing director for epay Australia and New Zealand.

 To use the system, customers just tap their smart card on the reader at the start of a journey and tap again at the end, allowing the system to automatically calculate and deduct the correct fare from the card account.

Epay already supports transport services in Queensland, Australia, where motorists can pay their motorway toll charges through the epay retail network.

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