The Opus En Ligne Card Reader

On the Island Of Montreal, one very common means of paying both the bus fares and subway trips – which we call “The Metro” – is by way of an “Opus” chip-card, which is NFC-enabled, which means that we wave it in front of a terminal located in the front of the bus, or at gates which lead into our Metro Stations. But, it used to beĀ  hassle for me that I still needed to go to a licensed store counter, to have my Opus Card recharged every month, and to pay actual money there.

The STM – which is the public transit organization responsible here – took the trendy step of offering tech-savvy riders the option, of buying a card reader which we can plug in to a USB port, and which we can use to recharge this transit card online.

I’ve used mine twice now. The only real drawback is the fact that once we’ve received our card reader, we need to download the device driver online if we’re using Windows 7.

But aside from that I feel comfortable using it, especially when the weather outside is snow and sleet, and it’s not convenient for me to go to a designated location to have it recharged. I even happen to be especially sensitive, to the thought that a chip-card might move or wiggle in its slot while being used – at restaurants or stores. Surprisingly, that thought doesn’t bother me when I’m recharging my Opus Card at home. Mind you, if we have this service done, it’s contactless, while at home, we need to insert the card into its reader and make use of its contacts.

I don’t really understand, why there was a business review somewhere, which explained the obviousness of how that concept could never have caught on. BTW, the “STM” is not a for-profit organization. I’m assuming that that article was written, by a financial expert who never tried to use the product himself.

The only external reference to this gadget I can find in the short term is this one:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/stm-opus-recharger-quickly-becomes-target-of-social-media-mockery-1.3145399

So it seems then, that I’m not in step with the social media?

Dirk

 

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One thought on “The Opus En Ligne Card Reader”

  1. The “STM” did something ‘financially smart’. They kept their customer support to a minimum. Therefore, their investment in this card reader is also at a minimum. They have it manufactured by an efficient company, and the box only includes a USB cable and a cardboard notice, with a URL on it. The “STM” itself does not distribute. That way, the cost to the taxpayer is also kept to a minimum, in case the product doesn’t take off (with tech-savvy riders).

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