25 Nov 2020

iPhone users able to finally jump on board bus top-up service

8:55 am on 25 November 2020

Wellington bus users with an iPhone can today rejoice, as they can finally top up their Snapper cards without having to hunt down a dairy or supermarket.

Snapper card

iPhone users can now top-up their Snapper cards. Photo: SUPPLIED / GWRC

The new app for the bus transport cards goes live at 10am and will provide Apple users with the same convenience that Android phones have enjoyed for almost a decade.

Instead of having to go to dairies and supermarkets or queue at kiosks, Snapper users can now load money for their bus fare through their iPhones.

As the news broke, on the streets of Wellington, bus users breathed a collective sigh of relief - a small win in 2020.

One woman in a long queue to top up her card said "it will be amazing, running around trying to find somewhere to top-up is a nightmare."

Another said he was "exhilarated" by the news, which he described as a "revolutionary shift" while others said he'd been waiting years.

At a bus stop along the golden mile, this woman was relieved knowing the struggle was over.

"It's going to make it so much easier, I don't even know where I can top up my card anymore.

"I walk along The Terrace going into dairies asking 'do you do Snapper top up?"

But that is now a thing of the past.

As the easiest and cheapest way to catch buses around the city iPhone users have long been frustrated by an inability to top up online.

Snapper's chief executive, Miki Szikszai.

Snapper's chief executive, Miki Szikszai. Photo: Supplied / Draper Cormack Group

Snapper's chief executive Miki Szikszai said it had been the single biggest request from customers since Android phones got the app eight years ago.

"Some customers have told us that reloading the app can be a point of friction for them.

"So today we're launching a companion app for iPhone users that they can use to instantly top up a snapper card.

"The app lets customers check their balance, see their transactions and top up their card instantly anywhere at any time."

You can also use it with your own card, or somebody else's, he said.

Szikszai said they had been waiting up until last year for Apple to unlock a function that allowed the app to work and had been developing it since lockdown.

And with a new share of the market able to get onboard, he's anticipating phone user top ups to soar.

"We are expecting to see a lot more customers use their phone to use the top up and to be able to do that whenever and wherever they want.

"It just means that we get out of the way and reduce that friction from catching the bus."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs