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An Asian first as Singapore commuters able to use bank cards as contactless tickets.

Posted by Luke Upton on Aug 3, 2016

A mastercard here seen in London accessing the TfL network.The Land Transport Authority (LTA) who control public transport in Singapore and Mastercard have signed a partnership agreement to launch an Account-Based Ticketing System pilot by the end of this year.

The pilot will give registered Mastercard cardholders the convenience of tapping their existing contactless credit and debit cards to pay for train and bus journeys, eliminating the need for a separate transit card and fare top-ups. LTA and Mastercard aim to attract at least 100,000 users for the pilot and follows on from cities like London that already make this available.

The new initiative ties in with one of the key pillars of Singapore’s ‘Smart Nation vision – Smart Mobility’, and taps on digital payments technology to provide commuters with a more convenient way to pay for public transit.

The Account-Based Ticketing System, which will enable commuters to use their contactless debit or credit cards for public transit and have their transactions billed on their debit or credit card, similar to a post-paid mobile phone bill. LTA is also working on enabling mobile phones for contactless use on public transit. In addition, this new system will allow commuters to track their journey and fare history via a mobile app or web portal.

The collaboration is part of Mastercard’s smart cities initiative to use innovation, technology and data analytics to transform the consumer experience and deliver solutions that address the challenges cities face, building smart cities that are more connected and sustainable.

Mr Chew Men Leong, Chief Executive of LTA ( @LTAsg ), said at the announcement;  “We are pleased to partner Mastercard as we work towards piloting this new fare payment system in Singapore. Through this public-private partnership, we look forward to the start of the pilot at the end of this year, when commuters in Singapore can be one of the first in Asia to experience this additional fare payment option. With this new option, they will be able to do away with the hassle of topping up their fare cards.” 

To hear from and meet Sim Wee Meng (Senior Group Director Rail, Land Transport Authority Singapore) among other regional rail readers book your free ticket to SmartRail Asia in Bangkok, 1st - 2nd December 2016 today! 

Ms Deborah Heng, group head and general manager, Mastercard Singapore ( @MastercardSG ) commented, “This collaboration with the LTA marks an important milestone for Mastercard as we take a big step towards our vision of building a cashless society by embedding digital payments and reducing the overall reliance on cash to make travel more inclusive.”

“As the contactless payments space continues to evolve, consumers will have different options to tap and pay securely at transit points, from their Mastercard contactless cards to mobiles phones and even wristbands and watches. With Singapore’s digitally savvy population, we are confident that the integration of Mastercard contactless payments in transit will resonate well with commuters” she added.

Putting Public Transport at the Heart of Tomorrow's Smart Cities.

Transport for London was the first public transport provider in the world to accept contactless payment cards. The contactless payment system was first launched on London's buses in December 2012 and expanded to cover Tube and rail services in London in September 2014. Since then, more than 500 million journeys have been made by more than 12 million unique credit and debit cards from 90 different countries, as well as using contactless-enabled mobile devices. Around one in 10 contactless transactions in the UK are made on TfL's network, making it one of the largest contactless merchants worldwide.

For more smart ticketing developments, you may also be interested in...

Transport for London seeks new revenues as its contactless ticketing system is licenced.

SmartRail Speaks: Laurent Cremer, Executive Director, OSPT Alliance.

How London commuters awoke to a contactless way to pay.

5 minutes with… Bill Hopkins, Operations Director at Trainline.

Chinese exports under spotlight as 26 faulty trains returned by Singapore. 


Topics: Ticketing, urbanmobility

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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