SINGAPORE - Singapore travellers to Malaysia will soon have an easier time paying for road tolls and parking across the Causeway.
Local travel card issuer EZ-Link and Malaysia's Touch 'n Go announced on Tuesday (April 9) that they are planning to introduce a Combi Card in the fourth quarter of 2019 that can allow users to pay in Singapore dollars and Malaysian ringgit.
This dual-currency card can be used both in Singapore and Malaysia. For a start, users can use it to pay electronic road pricing in Singapore, highway tolls in Malaysia and parking in either countries.
In the future, there are plans to expand the card's use, such as making payments for shopping and dining in Singapore and Malaysia.
The card will store Singdollars and ringgit separately. This means that if the card's Singdollar balance is zero, users cannot use the card's ringgit stored value to make Singdollar payments and have to top up the card with Singdollars. The converse applies as well.
How card top-ups can be done and other details will be announced later.
The cross-border Combi Card announcement comes after it was cited in the joint statement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad following their Leaders' Retreat in Putrajaya on Tuesday.
Both leaders welcomed the good progress made by both companies to launch the Combi Card that can be used by motorists who travel in both countries.
"When officially implemented, the dual-currency Combi Card would allow users to pay for road tolls and parking charges in both countries with the same card," said the statement.
The Combi Card will securely host both electronic wallets from EZ-Link and Touch 'n Go.
Having one card for electronic wallets from two countries is a first in South-east Asia, said a joint statement by both companies on Tuesday.
The card is targeted for a fourth-quarter launch this year.
EZ-Link chief executive Nicholas Lee said that the card "will be a milestone in EZ-Link's efforts to continuously innovate to transform people's lives with technology".
Touch 'n Go chief executive Syahrunizam Tan Sri Samsudin said: "This synergy between Touch 'n Go and EZ-Link to create a dual-currency cross-border Combi Card will undoubtedly make daily transactions fuss-free for Malaysian and Singaporean consumers with faster, simpler and more secure payment options."
This announcement follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between EZ-Link and Touch 'n Go on July 30, 2017.
To date, EZ-Link has issued about 30 million Cepas ez-link cards in Singapore and Touch 'n Go has more than 23 million active Touch 'n Go cards in circulation in Malaysia.