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cepas stored card

Post  fairyjade on 1/12/2009, 06:20

SINGAPORE: It will soon be more convenient for you to pay for your transactions using your CEPAS stored value cards.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and five companies from the industry are spending S$16 million to increase the number of point-of-sales terminals for using these cards. The aim is to increase these terminals from the current 5,000 to 24,000 by 2011.

The five companies involved in the Call-for Collaboration with IDA are EZ-Link Pte Ltd, Nera Telecommunications Ltd, Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) Singapore, PaymentLink Pte Ltd and Way Systems Solutions Pte Ltd.

This was announced by Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Lui Tuck Yew, at the Infocomm Industry Forum on Monday.

Singaporeans are currently holding nearly six million CEPAS cards, using them to pay for their travel on buses and MRT trains as well as purchases from some retailers.

This convenient mode of payment is set to be expanded very soon. The infocomm industry is broadening the use of the CEPAS card for payment to many more outlets like shopping malls, food outlets and convenience stores.

It is all about creating awareness of a cashless society.

Jeremy Tan, managing director of PaymentLink, said: "There are a lot of inconveniences in using cash and coins. Because we have been using (this mode of payment) for so many years, a lot of us don't recognise the inconvenience - but actually if you think about it, the coins that you get, the change, the calculations that you need to do, the bowl of coins that we have...

"The consumers already have the cards. It is now (a matter of) getting the merchants to be comfortable (with payment by card)."

Hence, IDA and the five companies involved in setting up point-of-sales terminals will be providing incentives to encourage merchants to install the devices. Among the perks is a terminal rental waiver for at least a year.

The key to encouraging Singaporeans to go cashless is also to ensure that there are adequate facilities for them to top up their CEPAS cards with sufficient money so that they can use the cards to pay a whole range of transactions, thus avoid using cash.

Nicholas Lee, executive director of EZ-Link, said: "We recognise this issue from the start and we have been working with DBS bank to equip its islandwide network of DBS-POSB ATMs to (enable customers) top up the EZ-Link cards as well when they withdraw cash. That will span over 900 machines islandwide."

He added that EZ-Link is also working with the operator of the AXS machines, which number 200 now, to accept the EZ-Link card as a means of top up.

When fully implemented by 2011, IDA believes the additional point-of-sales terminals can generate over 94 million e-payment transactions per year.

- CNA/ir

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