Older ez-link cards not valid for public transport from June

Older ez-link cards not valid for public transport from June
The phasing out of the payment cards does not affect passengers using concession cards, including seniors and students.
PHOTO: The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE — From June 1, passengers will not be able to use older ez-link cards that are not on the SimplyGo platform or Nets FlashPay cards to pay for their fares on public buses and trains.

The existing ez-link cards have to be upgraded to be SimplyGo-compatible, or passengers can use their contactless bank cards, or payment cards added to their mobile wallets instead.

The phasing out of these two types of payment card systems does not affect passengers using concession cards, including seniors and students.

From June 1, the non-upgraded ez-link card can be used only for motoring-related payments such as Electronic Road Pricing and parking charges, but not for retail payments like purchases made at supermarkets. Nets FlashPay cards can continue to be used for both motoring and retail payment after the deadline.

Announcing the change on Jan 9, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that two in three adult fare transactions on public transport today are made on the SimplyGo system, which allows commuters to use contactless bank cards – Mastercard, Visa and Nets – or the SimplyGo ez-link card to pay for public transport.

In response to The Straits Times’ query, LTA said that in December 2023, there were 2.6 million adult fare transactions for SimplyGo each day, compared with 1.5 million adult fare transactions made using ez-link and Nets FlashPay cards.

The SimplyGo system, launched in 2019, allows card holders to see their fare history, top up the cards using their mobile phone and block lost cards to prevent unauthorised transactions.

"With the growing adoption of SimplyGo payment methods, and the legacy card-based ticketing system for adult commuters nearing the end of its operational lifespan, we are therefore transitioning all adult commuters to the SimplyGo platform,"?LTA added.

From Jan 19 to July 18, commuters can exchange their Nets FlashPay cards for free Nets Prepaid Cards at SimplyGo ticket offices located at MRT stations and bus interchanges. Nets said in a statement that refunds can also be made at the SimplyGo ticket offices, local bank ATMs or at its customer service centre in Braddell within one year of the card’s expiry.

The Nets Prepaid Card can be used for transit and retail payment.

Passengers have until Aug 31 to upgrade older ez-link cards at SimplyGo ticket offices, ticketing service centres and ticketing machines at rail stations and bus interchanges.

From end-March, ez-link adult card holders will be prompted to upgrade to SimplyGo when topping up their cards at ticketing machines.

"Card holders who wish to continue using these cards for motoring-related payments such as ERP or parking charges should not upgrade their cards to the SimplyGo system,"?the LTA added.

Service ambassadors will be deployed at MRT and LRT stations and bus interchanges with ticketing machines to help commuters upgrade their old cards, as well as assist them with downloading and using the SimplyGo app.

The SimplyGo app will let users top up the cards, receive notifications on their fares and balances, and block further transactions if the cards are misplaced.

Refunds of the remaining value from the two older card systems can be done at SimplyGo ticket offices and ticketing service centres.

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After July, those holding Nets FlashPay cards have to approach the Nets customer service centre for their refund.

Like the contactless bank cards, the SimplyGo ez-link and Nets Prepaid cards cannot be used for motoring-related payments.

EZ-Link is holding a lucky draw to encourage commuters to upgrade their older ez-link cards for SimplyGo-compliant ones. The contest runs until May 31.

ALSO READ:?Singapore transport fare to rise by up to 11 cents: 8 tips to save money on bus and MRT fares

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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