S'pore commuters can use Mastercard bank cards to pay for public transport from April 4, 2019

Definitely more convenient for commuters.

Joshua Lee | March 07, 2019, 03:08 PM

Starting April 4, 2019, public transport commuters will be able to use Mastercard cards (these can be debit or credit) to tap in and out for travel.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will next month be launching SimplyGo, a contactless bank card payment system, after more than two years of trials.

This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary during the Ministry of Transport's Committee of Supply debate on Thursday, March 7.

Open to Mastercard users first, but can be used on NFC devices too

Under this programme, all Mastercard users can start using compatible bank cards to tap in and out on public transport instead of using their EZ-Link cards.

This also extends to all NFC-enabled devices that use digital wallet platforms like Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay that are linked to Mastercard bank cards.

LTA will be providing a list of operating systems and mobile devices compatible with SimplyGo on the TransitLink SimplyGo Portal (the link will work closer to the launch date).

Aside from the website, SimplyGo will also be available via a smartphone app (called TL SimplyGo). Both the website and app will be launched closer to April 4.

Visa users will have to wait until the end of 2019 to use their bank cards to pay for public transport rides.

What are the benefits?

SimplyGo (previously known as Account-Based Ticketing) will make paying for public transport much more convenient for commuters as they will not need to top up a separate card.

Instead, transport fare will be charged directly to their credit or debit cards and will be reflected in their monthly card bills or bank statements.

There will be no additional fee to use SimplyGo, either.

SimplyGo users will be able to track and view their travel expenditure as well as history on-the-go. They can also opt to receive push notifications via the TL SimplyGo app indicating fares after each trip is completed.

Non-bank card users can also use SimplyGo

Commuters without bank cards aren't left behind, but users of concession cards, EZ-Link, or NETS Flashpay cards will have to upgrade their cards before they can enjoy the benefits of SimplyGo.

LTA did not provide more information about said upgrading and said that more details will be made available closer to the launch date.

Mastercard users who are interested in using SimplyGo do not need to pre-register their bank cards to start using them for public transport rides.

LTA also advises that commuters take out their bank cards to tap to avoid incurring charges on multiple bank cards.

Top image via SGTrains.com