THAT sinking feeling motorists get as they approach a gantry and realise their CashCard is too low on funds to cover the toll can now be a thing of the past.
In what could be the next big thing in cashless payments here, a new virtual wallet from Nets will save the day for those who forget to top up.
It allows motorists to pay electronic road pricing (ERP) charges even when they have no physical CashCard in their in-vehicle units (IUs) or if a CashCard is there but has run low on funds.
Nets is launching the vCashCard with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday.
Nets chief executive Jeffrey Goh said in an exclusive interview: "It's time to implement a virtual CashCard to bring convenience to motorists, so that they don't have to worry about administrative fees."
Motorists caught with insufficient funds or without a CashCard in their IUs pay an administrative fee of $10, on top of the ERP charges they owe.
To use the new service, motorists should register for a vCashCard account via the Nets website at vcashcard.nets.com.sg
This account is first topped up with $50 from the registered credit or debit card or bank account.
ERP charges are deducted directly from the vCashCard account when there is no physical CashCard in the IU.
If you have a card in the IU when passing through a gantry, it works as usual and ERP charges will be deducted from it.
When funds in the vCashCard fall below $10, the virtual wallet will automatically be topped up with $50 from one of your accounts linked to the wallet. Mr Goh said: "It's worry-free, there's no monthly maintenance fee except for a top-up fee from time to time when you run out of cash."
Subscription to vCashCard is free, and the top-up fee each time is 50 cents, but that will be waived for motorists who sign up with a United Overseas Bank card or Internet banking account, for the first year. Mr Goh said Nets is open to working with other banks as well for this promotion, adding that banks can consider promoting this "as part of their service".
The vCashCard is just one of several new initiatives that the payment network - also known as the Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore - is rolling out this year as it turns 30. "Nets, with the Government, is providing convenience and easing worry for motorists, and a means to somewhat enable a cashless Singapore, through everything that we do," said Mr Goh.
Nets is also working on a second phase of the service, so that it can also be used at electronic parking system carparks.
Student Koe Zi Yan, 21, said he would prefer to save on the top-up fee, and he tops up more than $50 to his CashCard each time. "If the system lets me set the amount to top up each time, I'll consider using it."
This article was first published on May 26, 2015.
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