SINGAPORE - Commuters who use their ez-link cards at specified retail stores to pay for food and goods as well as taxi rides can earn LinkPoints under a loyalty rewards programme of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
Card issuer EZ-Link has tied up with a social enterprise arm of NTUC to award one LinkPoint for every $2 spent on the ez-link card at the retail stores.
The programme was launched on Thursday (Feb 1), the second partnership by EZ-Link to help the national drive to get more transactions to go cashless and expand the use of the card beyond transport.
The first tie-up, done about 10 days ago, was with e-payment giant Nets.
NTUC's LinkPoints are popular with consumers who can use them to offset against the price of purchases at FairPrice supermarkets or Caltex petrol kiosks, among other partners.
The points are issued by NTUC Link, the social enterprise managing the Plus! consumer loyalty rewards programme.
It has 2 million members, and they are the immediate target of the partnership, which seeks to boost the use of the ez-link cards at retail shops.
Both organisations believe the tie-up answers Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's call in his National Day Rally speech last August (2017), for more transactions to go cashless.
"Cashless systems will become more commonplace. We know that some people may have reservations, but cashless transactions can be easy, convenient and quick," said NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing when he launched the partnership today (Feb 1).
There are more than 30,000 retail acceptance points for the ez-link card, including ComfortDelgro cabs, 7-Eleven outlets and the Guardian pharmacy chain.
To earn LinkPoints, ez-link card holders have to link the two programmes. This can be done by downloading the EZ-Link app on their mobile devices.
After downloading, tap on the rewards tab and then the EZ-Link x Plus! banner. The linking will be done at the back-end.
Concession cards for senior citizens will be added to the rewards programme later.
In the second quarter of this year, customers at Cheers convenience stores, by NTUC FairPrice supermarkets, can also top-up their ez-link card with the change they receive from their purchases, saving them the hassle of counting notes and carrying coins.
EZ-Link's tie-up with Nets last week (Jan 24) allows holders of ez-link cards, including concession cards, to pay for food and drinks at about 1,000 hawker stalls.
They can do so by tapping on Nets contactless payment terminals at these stalls.