Pay and ride in S'pore, Msia with new smartcard

A smartcard that can be used to make retail and transportation payments in Singapore and neighboring Malaysia will be launched in the third quarter of this year.

SINGAPORE--A smartcard that can be used to make retail and transportation payments in Singapore and neighboring Malaysia will be launched in the third quarter of this year.

The card--known as the Touch 'n Go CashCard--will be jointly developed by the Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore Pte Ltd (NETS) and Malaysia's smartcard operator Rangkaian Segar Sdn Bhd (RSSB).

NETS is the developer of the CashCard, an electronic payment service in Singapore, while RSSB is the issuer of Touch 'n Go cards in Malaysia which are used as a payment system for most privatized toll highways in the country.

According to NETS, the card will contain microchips to cater for both currencies as well as e-purses of the CashCard and Touch 'n Go payment service.

At a news conference yesterday, RSSB chief operating officer Swinder Grewal said that users would have to pay a "one-off" amount to purchase the Touch 'n Go CashCards. No specific price was provided.

Grewal said that for Singaporeans to use the smartcard, they first have to top up their cards at Touch 'n Go sales counters, which are located at many toll plazas, selected Petronas petrol stations and retail outlets in Malaysia.

In addition, Singaporeans can also use the card to pay for their bus and train fares, and for parking charges in Malaysia.

Likewise, Malaysians visiting Singapore can top up their cards here at ATMs and major petrol stations for use at retail outlets, libraries and the Electronic Road Pricing system on the island state.

Alternatively, the Touch 'n Go CashCard can be re-valued via credit card which would save users the hassle of looking for places to top up their smartcards, Grewal said.

Meanwhile, NETS general manager (development) Chan Kah Khuen declined to reveal the amount invested in the new smartcard except that "both NETS and RSSB will commit research and development resources to the project".

According to Chan, 5.5 million CashCards have so far been issued in Singapore. Grewal noted that 1.25 million Touch 'n Go cards have been sold in Malaysia.

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