Public transport users can finally tap their Visa contactless cards to pay for rides – here’s how to get on board

The SimplyGo service had seen a “steady uptake” in usage since its launch with over 120,000 daily users.
The New Paper

Commuters carrying Visa contactless cards will soon be able to use them to pay for their bus and train rides as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) rolls out its newest e-payment initiative.

In a statement released on Thursday (May 16), the authority announced the expansion of its SimplyGo contactless payment service to Visa cardholders, allowing them to use their contactless cards to pay for public transport fares starting June 6, 2019.

SimplyGo, according to LTA subsidiary TransitLink, enables commuters to use credit or debit cards with contactless function to pay for transport fares, eliminating the need for upfront top-ups as the fares are charged to their card bills.

When it was first launched in April 2019, SimplyGo was only compatible with Mastercard contactless cards and approved mobile wallets – namely Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Now, with Visa card users also having a share of the pie, more contactless card holders in Singapore would be able to enjoy the perks, LTA said.

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa’s country manager for Singapore and Brunei, said that international travellers can also use their Visa cards to make contactless transit payments in Singapore.

LTA’s senior group director of public transport, Yeo Teck Guan, said that commuters’ response to the launch of SimplyGo had been encouraging. He also noted that the service has seen a “steady uptake” in usage since its inception in April, with an average ridership of more than 120,000 SimplyGo users per day.

Here’s how to enable the service:

Mastercard and Visa contactless cardholders do not need to pre-register their cards for public transport rides and will be charged the same fares as those using standard travel cards like EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay cards.

To activate their cards for the SimplyGo service, commuters who have EZ-Link or NETS FlashPay functionality in their Mastercard or Visa contactless cards should use a general ticketing machine at any MRT or LRT station to switch their card payment mode to “Bank Card”, LTA said.

Commuters may also register themselves for a SimplyGo account to view their travel history and fares using the TransitLink SimplyGo portal or the TL SimplyGo mobile app.

They can opt to receive push notifications on their smartphones to check their fares after each completed trip using the app.

For a smoother ride, commuters carrying more than one contactless or travel card should take out the card they wish to use to tap at the fare reader to avoid charges to multiple cards and travel delays, said LTA.

The authority added that towards the end of the year, commuters using EZ-Link cards will be able to upgrade their cards for access to SimplyGo benefits such as “topping up on-the-go” via their SimplyGo accounts.

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