Reply to Parliamentary Question on linking NETS Cashcard with mobile apps or internet banking for motorists’ payments

QUESTION NO 670

NOTICE PAPER 892 OF 2017

FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

Date: For Parliament Sitting on 6 November 2017

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Ong Teng Koon, MP, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC

Question:

To ask the Prime Minister whether the Ministry will consider linking cashcards with the PayNow payment system in order to allow for seamless topping up of cashcards from mobile apps instead of via a physical top-up machine as cashcards are the only cards accepted across all payment platforms for motorists' payments including ERP and car parks.

Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:

1   Mr Ong’s question refers to the CashCard issued by NETS, which can be used by motorists for ERP and car park payments.  However, there are also other payment options.

2   The existing NETS CashCard is a physical stored value facility that has been in use since 1995.  The stored value in the CashCard can be topped up at NETS top-up machines, any local bank ATM, and at terminals at some convenience store chains1.   This existing CashCard cannot be topped up through mobile apps or internet banking, such as through PayNow, as it requires a physical contact point for topping up.   

3   Besides the NETS CashCard, however, there are other options for motorists and those using public transit – namely the ez-link card and NETS FlashPay card. These cards are based on the Contactless e-Purse Application Standard (CEPAS). There are a few convenient ways to top up CEPAS cards, such as through automatic top-ups via Interbank Giro, credit and debit cards or via smartphones2, which removes the hassle of performing manual top-ups. Motorists can also sign up for electronic payment of ERP fees via EZ-Pay or NETS vCashCard. These latter payment methods allow motorists to pay for ERP charges directly with their credit or debit cards.

4   As for car parks, Mr Ong is right to say that the CashCard is the only payment card that can be accepted in all car parks.  Most car parks are already on the Electronic Payment System (EPS) and accept both the CashCard and CEPAS cards.  However, some of the older car parks cannot accept CEPAS cards - these are a declining minority, as car park operators upgrade their systems.     

5   Upcoming developments such as the Land Transport Authority’s next generation ERP 2.0 system will be based on newer and more efficient technology, including cardless payments, to further improve motorists’ experience.    

1 Such as 7-Eleven, Cheers, FairPrice Xpress.
2 Users can top up ez-link cards by tapping the cards onto their Android smartphones using the near field communication functionality.  The top-up amount will be charged to the users’ credit cards.

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Last Modified on 06/11/2017