EZ-Link and NETS to join hands to push for cashless payment in Singapore hawker centres

EZ-Link and NETS to join hands to push for cashless payment in Singapore hawker centres

Two local payment giants EZ-Link and
NETS announced in a joint statement their first
interoperable payments system which e-payments can be made by EZ-Link and concession
cards through all NETS terminals at hawker centres in Singapore.

The objective of this collaboration is to make
cashless payment an easy, attractive and available option for both consumers
and merchants in Singapore.

From April 2018, EZ-Link and concession
cardholders will be able to tap their EZ-Link cards and concession cards, on NETS
terminals to make cashless payments for meals and drinks at hawker centres.

To start with, EZ-Link cards will be accepted
at around 1,000 stalls in more than 30 hawker centres. Some of these hawker
centres are the ones at Beo Crescent, Tanjong Pagar, Yishun Park and Zion Road,
Singapore Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Temasek
Polytechnic and the National Technological University.

According to a
by Straits Times, some of the NETS-enabled food stalls currently
display a QR code that works with the e-wallets of DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and
United Overseas Bank (UOB), as well as the NetsPay e-wallet. This QR code will
soon be changed to the SGQR code, which will work with more e-wallets such
as Singtel Dash.

There has been concerns that e-payment advancements
will not be able to benefit senior citizens and students with do not have bank
accounts. To ensure that no member of the society is left behind in this journey towards
a cashless society, the partnership also supports the use of concession cards
for payments at NETS terminals in hawker centres.

It is expected that the partnership will
expand in scale and reach upon its launch. In the joint statement, EZ-Link CEO
Nicholas Lee was quoted to comment that the two firms “hope to continue to
establish similar partnerships to increase our acceptance points across
Singapore, and empower Singaporeans of all ages in the nation's cashless

At the moment, EZ-Link cards focus on facilitating
payment for public transport while NETS has around 100,000 acceptance points
that primarily serve transactions in the retail sector by allowing consumers to
make direct deductions from their bank accounts through their ATM cards. Other
uses of NETS include the Electronic Road Pricing and carpark payment with its

As previously
, e-payment is one of the selected focus areas in the city-state’s
Smart Nation initiative. For example, in June 2016, PayNow was launched to enable
customers of participating banks to transfer and receive Singapore Dollar funds
from one bank to another almost instantly, using just their mobile number or
Singapore National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification
Number (FIN).

However, the e-payment landscape in Singapore is
characterized by the presence of multiple
. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted in his National Day
Rally Speech last year,
the many e-payment systems in Singapore are not integrated or unified. This collaboration
between EZ-Link and NETS will hopefully accelerate Singapore’s drive for a
cashless society.