August 11, 2017

Singapore aims for cashless public transport by 2020

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SINGAPORE Land Transport Authority (LTA) and its Transitlink fare collection subsidiary TransitLink announced on August 11 that they are working towards the total elimination of cash payments on the island’s public transport network by 2020.

Since March LTA and Mastercard have been conducting a pilot with Account-Based Ticketing (ABT), which enables users of contactless bank cards to tap in and out of the network using a credit or debit card. More than 100,000 passengers have participated in the pilot and LTA says feedback has been encouraging. LTA and Mastercard are therefore planning to extend the pilot and other payment schemes could also be included in ABT.

LTA and TransitLink have also expanded cashless payment options for stored-value card transactions. Since January, passengers have been able to top up stored-value cards using personal bank cards. Mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Android Pay have been added to all ticket machines at all stations. As a result, cashless top-up transactions via station ticket machines have increased by more than 70% in six months.

When it opens in 2019, the Thomson East Coast Line will become Singapore’s first completely cashless metro line.

With the conclusion of the project in 2020, Singapore’s public transport network will see seven million cashless transactions a day.

LTA says limited options to pay with cash such as buying stored-value smartcards at convenience stores near stations and bus stops will still be available after 2020.

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