S'pore: No-card way to buy movie tickets online

Fans of the forthcoming American Pie 2 movie will not need a credit card if they wish to buy the tickets online, thanks to a new debit-based payment system.

SINGAPORE--Fans of the forthcoming American Pie 2 movie will not need a credit card if they wish to buy the tickets online, thanks to a new debit-based payment system.

Local outfit The Payment Solutions Company (TPSC) has rolled out a direct debit online payment service, which allows shoppers to buy online--without those credit cards.

Established last year, the payment solutions firm released its janusX debit payment solution in March 2001. In Singapore, the janusX service is operated by Network for Electronic Transfer of Singapore Pte Ltd (NETS).

The service will allow Singaporeans to buy products and services online. The first few merchants to provide e-commerce through direct debit are Golden Village by the end of the month and Shaw Organization and SISTIC "in the near future".

To use the service, a customer goes to the merchant site and selects a payment option that says: "Directly debit your bank account." He or she will then be redirected to the janusX site, where he can key in his banking user identification number and password to pay for the tickets.

The respective bank will then issue a receipt and link the user back to the merchant site.

However, this service is only available to Post Office Saving Bank and Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) account holders at present.

Nevertheless, TPSC expects two more banks to use this solution by year end--a local and a foreign bank, TPSC marketing manager Liliane Lye said, without revealing their identities.

According to TPSC, there are more local merchants and government agencies who are in the process of using this solution.

They include Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Ministry of Finance, Courts Furniture Store, Safe Superstore, National Kidney Foundation, Boys' Brigade, FarEastFlora, Joaquim Florist, Noel Gifts, Yamaha Music, Travelsutra, NTUC Club, and HDBay, a Housing and Development Board subsidiary that provides renovation packages.

TPSC charges merchants a one-time set-up fee of S$2,000 and one percent (minimum of S$1) from each transaction. The commission from each transaction is then shared between the customer's bank, NETS and TPSC. For government agencies, a flat rate of S$0.50 or S$1 will be charged for each transaction.

TPSC has its sights on expanding, and plans to have a presence in Malaysia in a year. However, Lye did not elaborate.

She also declined to disclose revenue projections.