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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020

You can finally top up your Leap card using your phone (but not if you have an iPhone)

Good news, Android users!


Updated 3.50pm 

LEAP CARD USERS have long complained about having to either have an automatic top-up, use a Luas ticket machine or go to a shop to top up their cards.

Now, for Android phone users at least, those days are over.

A new app from the National Transport Authority allows users top their card up using their phone.

The app will use Near-Field Communications to top up the cards. The phone must, however, run on Android 4.4 KitKat or later.

In addition, people with the app on their phones can check a friend’s Leap card balance for them, allow them to collect a ticket or pay for a friend’s Leap card top-up.

The facility is not yet available for iPhone, but speaking to today, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said he’s hopeful that Apple will get behind the app.

He also explained why it took so long for the mobile top-up facility to become available:

Source: Quinton O'Reilly/

The card, which can be used on public transport across Ireland’s cities, have been hugely successful – more than 1.5 million cards have been sold since its launch four years ago.

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said that the app was the result of customer feedback.

We have been listening to customer feedback, and our bus customers in particular were telling us that they would welcome a more convenient top-up process.

“This is a new technology in Ireland; in fact we’re one of the first travel smartcards in the world to develop an App using NFC technology for reading card balances and for topping up.”

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell 

Read: Are our buses and trains next for contactless debit card payments?

Read: There were over 220 million public transport journeys in 2015

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