LTA did a U-turn on their recent announcement to phase out its existing card-based ticketing system for adult commuters, and to discontinue the sales and support of NETS FlashPay Card.
I believe this is after the uproar from the public about the new SimplyGo platform and specifically, the inability to see the fare information and card balance on card readers at MRT and LRT fare gates, as well as on buses.
With the new announcement, if you are a holder of EZ-Link card and NETS FlashPay Card, you can continue to use them, and there is no need to register a SimplyGo account.
Looking at the comments and frustration from the public, I believe this is a wake-up call for LTA and NETS. With the new SimplyGo system, it can better manage your cards and in the event the card is lost or stolen, the money in the card can be safe-guarded.
However, LTA cannot simply remove a feature that most people use (to read the fare at the gate) and replace it with a half-baked solution (can only check the trips information and card balance using the SimplyGo app) that is difficult to those non-tech-savvy people and says that it is an improvement. Moreover, with the SimplyGo platform, NETS FlashPay Card cannot be used for transport, and EZ-Link can no longer be used for paying parking or ERP charges.
If we think about it, why did LTA or NETS not think about it in the first place? I believe, in my opinion, it might be due to cost of servicing two systems. Based on the report from Straits Times, an extra S$40 million will be spent to maintain and service the ageing hardware of the card-based (old) system.
LTA and NETS need to think of a better system to manage the expectations of the commuters. Until then, the two systems will co-exist.
I don’t think anybody wins from this saga. LTA has to spend more money to maintain an aging system. The commuters will risk losing the money in the card if the card is lost/stolen/damaged if they continue to use the card-based systems.
You can read the Press Release below for more information.
NETS to continue sales and support for NETS FlashPay Card in line with existing adult card-based ticketing system extension
SINGAPORE, 22 JANUARY 2023 – Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) today announced that it will continue sales and support for NETS FlashPay Card, in line with LTA’s announcement to extend the existing adult card-based ticketing system, to operate in parallel with the SimplyGo system.
NETS FlashPay Card allows commuters to see fare information as well as their card balance on card readers at MRT and LRT fare gates as well as on buses. In addition to transit, NETS FlashPay Card is accepted at over 130,000 NETS acceptance points. The public can identify if they are holding a NETS FlashPay Card, by checking for the NETS FlashPay logo at the bottom right corner of the card face or the back of the card.
Commuters who have purchased NETS Prepaid Card between 9 and 22 January 2024 (inclusive) will have the option to exchange their cards to a NETS FlashPay Card. NETS will work with LTA to finalise the exchange process and update commuters once the details are finalised.
NETS will resume sale of NETS FlashPay Cards at SimplyGo Ticket Offices, convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, Cheers, Buzz, NETS Customer Service Centre and Lazada and Shopee online channels.
NETS Prepaid Card, which can be used for transit and retail, continues to be available to consumers who prefer the functionalities offered under account-based ticketing.
For any urgent assistance, consumers can email email@example.com , call 6274 1212 or visit the NETS Customer Service Centre at 351 Braddell Rd, #01-03, Singapore 579713 during operating hours.
The NETS Group is a leading payments services group, enabling digital payments for merchants, consumers, and banks across the entire payments value chain. Guided by our purpose statement “Connecting Communities, Empowering Lives” we aim to make an impact to the communities we serve.
The Group operates Singapore’s national debit scheme enabling customers of DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB to make payments at more than 130,000 acceptance points in the country. The NETS network also accepts overseas wallets and foreign cards payments which include cards from BCA, MyDebit, RuPay, UnionPay and apps from Alipay+, BHIM, participating Malaysian, and Thai banks, UnionPay and WeChat Pay. NETS is also the issuer of NETS FlashPay Card, NETS Motoring Card and NETS Prepaid Card.
The NETS Group manages and operates Singapore’s clearing and payment infrastructure for core electronic transfer services FAST, Interbank GIRO, eGiro and PayNow. It is the market leader providing payment and clearing solutions (Real-Time Gross Settlement system and Cheque Truncation System) in the region.
NETS is a member of the Asian Payment Network and a council member of UnionPay International. For more information on the NETS Group, please visit www.nets.com.sg.