Commuters can pay for bus or train fares with Mastercard contactless bank cards from April 4

Commuters can use their Mastercard contactless bank cards or mobile phones to pay for their travel, without the need to carry a separate travel card or make top-ups upfront.
Commuters can use their Mastercard contactless bank cards or mobile phones to pay for their travel, without the need to carry a separate travel card or make top-ups upfront.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - From Thursday (April 4), commuters with Mastercard contactless bank cards will be able to simply tap and go when paying for their fares on buses or trains.

This is part of the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) SimplyGo initiative, which will be launched for Mastercard cardholders first before possibly expanding to Visa cardholders later this year.

The LTA said in a statement on Monday that commuters can use their Mastercard contactless bank cards or mobile phones to pay for their travel, without the need to carry a separate travel card or make top-ups upfront.

They can tap their contactless bank cards on the fare reader at the MRT station gantry or when boarding and alighting the bus, and they will be charged the same fares as those using ez-link or Nets FlashPay cards.

Those with foreign-issued bank cards may be charged administrative and overseas transaction fees.

SimplyGo can also be used on NFC-enabled devices with Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

Commuters will have to link their Mastercard card to their mobile device.

SimplyGo commuters can also view their travel expenditure and history by registering for an account on the TransitLink SimplyGo Portal online or via its mobile application.

The SimplyGo account also allows users to opt to receive information on their travel expenditure and history via push notifications on their mobile phones at the end of their trip.

The mobile app also contains details on concession card applications as well as bus routes and timings, among other features.

The LTA said that more commuter services will be rolled out in the app in the future.

Mastercard users who are already using the built-in ez-link or Nets FlashPay function of their contactless bank cards can do a switch of payment mode at a general ticketing machine if they would like to opt for Mastercard contactless payment.

Once the switch is done, all fares paid using that card will be processed, accumulated and charged to their card account.

DBS and United Overseas Bank (UOB) were among the parties involved in piloting SimplyGo with Mastercard.

UOB currently processes all card payments made at the fare readers.

Ms Choo Wan Sim, the bank's head of cards and payments, said that commuters had spent more than $1 million through contactless credit and debit card payments in the first two months of the pilot in 2017.

“As more consumers realise the benefit and ease of going cashless for their daily commute, the bank expects contactless transit payments by Mastercard card members to increase exponentially when SimplyGo officially launches on Thursday," she said.

The LTA, together with TransitLink and Mastercard, will be conducting SimplyGo roadshows at various MRT stations from Thursday to April 30.

Towards the end of the year, commuters using their ez-link cards can also upgrade their cards to enjoy SimplyGo benefits, such as topping up on the go via their SimplyGo account, the LTA said.