Monday, January 12, 2009


CNA’s article, published Monday, 29-December-2008

New EZ Link cards can only be used on buses, trains until further notice

SINGAPORE: New EZ Link cards, which are compliant to a new standard called Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS), have gone on sale on Monday.

These cards can be used for payment at retail outlets and eventually for new generation in-vehicle units for Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges and at Electronic Parking System car parks.

The new cards cost S$15 each, with a stored value of S$10 as the other S$5 covers the cost of the card. One-for-one card exchange exercise is expected to take place by next month.

One existing EZ Link card user said: "I went to the counter asking them whether I can upgrade it, but it seems that service is not available yet."

A quick check with Raffles Place MRT station showed that just 70 new EZ Link cards were sold by mid-day and most commuters do not know much about them.

EZ Link's plans to expand payment options to McDonalds, 7-Eleven stores and SMRT taxis will be finalised next year.

To prepare for the stepped up usage, the new card can have a stored value of up to S$500.

With the current EZ Link card, commuters are alerted to top up their cards when the value is S$3 and below.

However, with the new CEPAS-compliant EZ Link card, they will be alerted when the value is S$5. This is because the stored value of S$5 is the true value of the card.

The Singapore transit market is worth an estimated S$1.5 billion a year. NETS will roll out its version of the transit smart cards by next September for use on buses and trains, on top of other payment options.

Poh Mui Hoon, CEO, NETS, said: "We are new in transit and so new procedures and new operational plans have to be put in place, but in a way it is not a big challenge because we have been in this business for such a long time."

NETS will be conducting a staff trial of its cards in April before rolling out a public trial in July.

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