EZ-Link promotes e-payment adoption with free auto top-up, loose-change top-up

EZ-Link chief executive Nicholas Lee provides a demonstration on an EZ-Link transaction at Cheers on Aug 1, 2018.
EZ-Link chief executive Nicholas Lee provides a demonstration on an EZ-Link transaction at Cheers on Aug 1, 2018.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - EZ-Link on Wednesday (Aug 1) announced that EZ-Reload will be an entirely free function with immediate effect - as part of the company's efforts to promote e-payment adoption and discourage the use of cash in Singapore.

EZ-Reload is a service by EZ-Link that automatically tops up a user's registered ez-link card when it has insufficient value. Previously, EZ-Reload users would incur a 25 cents convenience fee with every top-up made with his or her Mastercard and Visa credit or debit cards.

Nicholas Lee, chief executive officer of EZ-Link, said: "We have taken away the convenience fee to encourage more members of the public to use EZ-Reload, in a bid to further discourage Singaporeans from using cash to top up their EZ-Link."

EZ-Link added that it has moved the application for EZ-Reload from Web-based forms to the EZ-Link app. This cuts down the approval process from five days to minutes, said Mr Lee.

The company that sells ez-link cards - which are most widely used to pay for public transport rides - also said that its partnership with convenience store Cheers and fintech company Wirecard has materialised. From August, when making purchases with cash at any Cheers outlets in Singapore, consumers just need to inform the cashier to top-up their ez-link cards directly with the change they receive. This minimises any inconvenience and time needed to count the coins; no transaction fees are required to use the service, said Mr Lee.

"EZ-Link is making a concerted effort to contribute to Singapore's goals to promote e-payment adoption and reduce cash handling."

There are about 3.4 million ez-link cardholders in Singapore, and 4.9 million if counting concession card holders. Currently, EZ-Link has 400,000 EZ-Reload users. Some 30,000 of whom signed up for the auto top-up service since it was made available for application on the EZ-Link app in March.