SINGAPORE - An error message greeted several users of e-payment stalwart Nets' mobile wallet on Friday (Oct 20), the day of the app's launch.
These users had downloaded the NetsPay app, but could not enter their banking PIN to complete the registration.
Instead, they got this error message: "Error 29 - 993. Transaction unsuccessful. Please try again." The problem was only resolved at 3.30pm on Friday.
"As an avid supporter of the cashless payment drive in Singapore, I am very disappointed to see the failure of the NetsPay app at the first step of onboarding customers. Why can't we get this right?" said lawyer Rajesh Sreenivasan, 48, who encountered the error message.
Another frustrated user Andrew Loh said on Nets' Facebook page: "Bad launch. Unable to set up."
For a start, it is supposed to work for users of the seven million ATM cards issued by DBS Bank and POSB.
The ATM cards of five other banks - OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank, HSBC, Maybank and Standard Chartered Bank - would be accepted in the coming weeks.
Apologising for the inconvenience, a DBS spokesman said: "Some DBS and POSB customers may have experienced difficulties in provisioning their cards on NetsPay."
The bank spokesman added that the problem was caused by "an issue with our card provisioning service".
Nets said the app attracted more than 6,400 downloads on Friday.
NetsPay was said to pave the way for millions of ATM card users here to make Nets payments with just their phones. The app lets users digitise their ATM cards, so payments can be debited directly from their bank accounts by tapping their mobile phones on a contactless payment reader or by scanning a QR code.
Observers had believed the move to be a step towards the setting up of the unified cashless payment system that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke of at the National Day Rally.
His remarks on Aug 20 fired the starting gun for a race in which e-payment firms battle to be the one to unite fragmented platforms and reach all strata of society, including hawkers and heartland shops, where cash is king.
Nets chief executive Jeffrey Goh had called NetsPay "the payment app that can". "It effectively solves Singapore's cashless conundrum - having one wallet that is accepted everywhere," he said on Thursday.
About one-third of Nets' 100,000 acceptance points islandwide - including some Cold Storage and FairPrice supermarket outlets - have been upgraded with contactless functions and QR code features to accept NetsPay.
Android phone users can scan a QR code or tap their phones on contactless payment readers to make payments. iPhone users can only scan a QR code.