Gemalto is for the first time making it possible for Singapore public transit commuters to pay their fare using their mobile phone. Gemalto's UpTeq Multi-Tenant NFC SIM allows commuters to enjoy greater convenience through the embedded EZ-Link application, taking public transport with just a simple tap of their phone. Mobile network operators (MNOs) and banks can eventually use this platform to provide new value-added services too. The project is spearheaded by a consortium Gemalto is part of, and other partners include EZ-Link Pte Ltd, governing bodies and MNOs. EZ-Link runs the country's largest e-payment system (17 million EZ-Link cards are currently in use).
Exceptionally well-connected by buses and trains, Singapore's mass transit network boasts a high daily ridership of 6.65 million trips. The island, with its population of 5.4 million, also has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world with 8.1 million users. Besides transport usage, the new mobile payment service is compatible with an existing contactless infrastructure, featuring over 30,000 ez-link terminals from retail stores to food & beverage outlets, and a fleet of taxis. This makes it possible for consumers to leave their wallet at home, by just carrying a smartphone for all their daily purchases.
"EZ-Link is pleased to have concluded the trial with our partners, and together with Gemalto, we have successfully launched the EZ-Link NFC SIM to enable commuters to make public transit payments with their NFC-enabled mobile phones. This launch marks another new chapter in the history of Singapore's public transport with the transition from contactless to mobile payment. We will continue to work with our partners to further enhance the user experience and explore new possibilities with the NFC technology," said Mr Nicholas Lee, Chief Executive Officer, EZ-Link Pte Ltd.
"This initiative is a Singapore first for mass transit. In the future, our NFC SIM can aggregate loyalty cards and discount coupons, delivering one-stop convenience for the users," said Michael Au, President, South Asia & Japan at Gemalto. "We are also independently recognized as the world's top supplier of contactless mobile solutions for public transportation by ABI Research, Juniper Research and IHS".