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Soon you'll be able to top up your Leap card by touching it against your smartphone

(Exact) change is on the way.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

COMMUTERS IN DUBLIN will soon be able to put money on their Leap cards, just by holding them against their smartphone, it was announced today.

The National Transport Authority has just given a contract to international company ViX to develop a few new features, including one which uses Near Field Communications (NFC) to allow payment via a smartphone app.

NFC uses a wireless connection to transfer information into and out of your phone. A feature called a “digital wallet” stores your credit and debit card details on your phone.

Combining those technologies, and using a forthcoming smartphone app, Leap card owners will be able to look even more slick by simply holding the card close to the phone, and adding money to it.

Tim Gaston, head of ticketing at the NTA, told TheJournal.ie he hopes the new top-up system will be up and running by late summer 2015.

Another newly-announced feature will be tested first – displaying your balance on your phone, again using NFC technology.

Gaston expects that by around next Easter.

As of last month, 754,000 Leap cards have been issued throughout the country.

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The vast majority are in Dublin, where they cards can be used on Dublin Bus, Luas, and DART and commuter rail services.

The card was recently introduced in Galway on Bus Éireann and City Direct services, and is also in operation in Cork and Wexford.

Read: One more bonus to being a teen? Cheaper Luas and bus travel>

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Dan MacGuill

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