Nets gives rebates for FlashPay card use

Nets gives rebates for FlashPay card use

You could be sitting on a swag of FlashPay cards in your wallet without even realising it.

Nets wants you to know about it - and is offering a financial carrot to get you using the cards.

There are 3.1 million cards by DBS Bank, POSB, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB) out there with the contactless FlashPay function, Nets chief executive Jeffrey Goh told The Straits Times.

The FlashPay facility allows cards to be used for public transport fares and payments at 87,000 Nets acceptance points here.

That is why the payment network - also known as the Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore - kicked off a major three-month campaign yesterday to raise the awareness of such cards.

To encourage more cardholders to use their FlashPay-enabled cards on their public transport rides, Nets is giving consumers a 10 per cent rebate with every $10 that is loaded on a card, from yesterday until Jan 31 next year.

The rebate is capped at $3 a month, and can be used for MRT, LRT and public bus fares.

No activation is needed, and consumers simply need to make a top-up on their FlashPay-enabled cards at any ATM, Nets self-service top-up machine and what is known as the TransitLink Add Value Machine Plus, which can be found in MRT stations.

These cards include the POSB Go card - which easily makes up about 30 to 40 per cent of the 3.1 million cards - OCBC's Frank card and the UOB Delight card.

The group of cards cater to a wide range of consumers, from students to national servicemen to bigger spenders, so Mr Goh hopes the message gets out there.

"If the big campaign is successful, we are looking to see if we can get at least 600,000 to 700,000 - or 20 to 25 per cent - of the cards active," said Mr Goh.

He added that if things go well, he would be pleased with that performance by the end of the campaign and would consider extending the rebate period.

Mr Goh noted that such cards were first issued about three to four years ago.

"Before we knew it, 3.1 million cards had been issued, but only less than 10 per cent of the cards are used for transit, and a lot of people don't know about the FlashPay feature."

The idea was to create an all-in-one card that could be used by the customer to not only pay for everyday items and withdraw cash but also to pay for transport in the bid to promote a cashless society.

If more people take to their FlashPay-enabled cards, there could be less incentive to buy new FlashPay or ez-link cards.

Even if fewer FlashPay cards are sold, Mr Goh is open to the idea as it would mean more users on the enabled cards and possible waste cuts.

"When you buy the Octopus card in Hong Kong, the card may not be a new piece, but a recycled one instead. In Singapore, we always get new cards. When you ask for a refund, the card is 'killed' immediately."

The chief executive added that it is not his goal to be the first or dominant player in the market, "but to highlight the valuable asset the cardholders have, and to reward them".

The payment network has already introduced contactless payment to hawker centres where stalls use Nets terminals to accept payment, and other retail concepts such as vending machines.

In fact, all F&N vending machines at the Singapore Sports Hub accept payment by FlashPay cards.

Mr Goh said: "When asked about accepting other cards (at our terminals), we're fine with it, as long as Singapore moves towards a cashless society."

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