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FINANCIAL SERVICES, TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Public transport payment via Visa goes live

The project will be one of Visa’s largest implementations for contactless acceptance for transit globally at 30,000 acceptance points.

Commuters can now use contactless Visa cards to pay for public transport by tapping their cards or compatible mobile devices at MRT stations or buses, as part of the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) SimplyGo initiative, an announcement revealed. Contactless transport payments via Mastercard already went live on April.

The project with LTA is said to be one of Visa’s largest implementations for contactless acceptance for transit globally at 30,000 acceptance points. All banks, such as the Bank of China, CIMB, Citibank, DBS, HSBC, ICBC Bank, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB, that issue contactless enabled Visa cards will be part of this transit initiative.

Also read: 1 in 2 fares will be paid through contactless modes by 2024: UOB

Singaporeans will also be able to make mobile contactless transactions through compatible devices including Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay™ 2 and Samsung Pay. Singtel Dash mobile wallet users can also tap and pay for bus and train rides with their Dash Visa Virtual Account.

More than one-third or 35% of Singaporeans said it was inconvenient to top-up their pre-paid stored value cards for local travel, a Visa Singapore transit study revealed. In addition, close to 70% of respondents said that it was a hassle to wait in long queues to purchase fares or top up their travel cards. The same study also highlighted that 75% of Singaporeans are open to using mobile or digital payments as their sole method of payment for public transport.

According to Kunal Chatterjee, Visa’s country manager for Singapore and Brunei, Singapore is already one of the top markets globally in terms of contactless penetration with more than 80% of all Visa transactions being contactless. “We expect this number to grow even faster with the opening of transit acceptance,” added Kunal.

With the launch of the SimplyGo programme, Singapore joins other major cities that have enabled open-loop Visa payment cards for public transport, including London, Sydney and New York.

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