Visa contactless cards can be used to pay train, bus fares from June 6

To use the service, commuters simply tap the fare gantries or card readers with their card or mobile phone, which must have Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay installed.
To use the service, commuters simply tap the fare gantries or card readers with their card or mobile phone, which must have Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay installed.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - More commuters will soon be able to pay for trips on trains and buses by tapping their contactless credit cards or mobile phones, with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) expanding its SimplyGo system to Visa card users from June 6.

The system, which was rolled out on April 4 in line with Singapore's Smart Nation and cashless goals, is currently limited to Mastercard users.

LTA senior group director of public transport Yeo Teck Guan said in a statement on Thursday (May 16) that the response from commuters following the launch has been encouraging.

"We are seeing a steady uptake in usage since its launch, with an average of over 120,000 daily trips," Mr Yeo said. "With the inclusion of Visa, more commuters will benefit."

SimplyGo links a user's credit or debit card to the transport providers, which eliminates the need for top-ups.

To use the service, commuters simply tap the fare gantries or card readers with their card or mobile phone, which must have Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay installed.

Mr Kunal Chatterjee, Visa's country manager for Singapore and Brunei, said the scheme's expansion will bring more convenience to Singaporeans as well as international travellers visiting the country.

"With this, we foresee Visa contactless usage in Singapore continuing to grow, surpassing the current contactless penetration of over 80 per cent," he added.

 
 
 

In the first month of the rollout, there were four times more Mastercard users than before who chose to use their contactless cards, mobile phones and wearables to pay for public transport, said Ms Deborah Heng, country manager for Mastercard Singapore.

All Mastercard and Visa contactless cards with the EMVCo contactless indicator will be accepted for use on public transport.

Commuters who currently use the ez-link or Nets FlashPay functions with their bank cards will have to visit a general ticketing machine at MRT or LRT stations to switch the payment mode to "bank card" to use SimplyGo.

Using the ez-link or Nets FlashPay functions would require commuters to make top-ups upfront. But these top-ups would not be necessary if they opt for the SimplyGo system, as fares will be charged as transactions to their credit or debit card directly, just like other contactless card purchases.

Cards with the Cepas logo at the back have ez-Link and Nets FlashPay functions.

The LTA also reminded commuters who are carrying several bank or travel cards to take out the card they wish to use before tapping the fare reader to avoid multiple charges or delays.

By signing up for a SimplyGo account, users can see their travel history and the fare charged for each trip on the TransitLink SimplyGo portal (simplygo.com.sg) or its mobile app.

They can also opt to receive push notifications for the fares on the app after each completed trip.