Opal Smart Card for NSW public transport at a newsagent for $10 and was told it had $10 credit on it, but it does not. I registered the card online (this is optional you can have an anonymous one). This was reasonably simple to do and the system sent me a conformation SMS, which is useful. But I was surprised to find the card had a balance of zero. So I added $40 online (the minimum), the balance remained at zero for several minutes, before changing to $40. Other online translations only take a few second: why does the Opal system take minutes?
The other annoying aspect of the Opal card is the need for yet another smart transport card. This is my fourth Australian state smart ticket card (I already have cards for Victoria, ACT and West Australia). I only need one electronic tag to driver my car in multiple Australian states, why can't I use the one travel card across Australia? The reasons can't be technical, as these cards all conform to the same smart card standards. In fact I also have a card for Singapore which uses the same standard (as will the Vancouver Compass Card).