Nets' FlashPay going online

Nets' FlashPay cards will be available at an online store this week, allowing consumers to buy limited-edition cards online as the firm steps up the push towards a cashless society.

Mr Seow Chow Wei, Nets' vice-president of business services, told The Straits Times: "It's one of our many channels out there and is meant to fulfil demand for FlashPay cards, particularly special-edition collectors cards which we want to make exclusively available online."

The contactless FlashPay facility allows the use of cards for public transport fares and payments at 91,000 Nets acceptance points here, up from 87,000 in November last year. The online portal is slated to go live on Friday, and will first feature a handful of designs.

This coincides with the seventh anniversary of the card's launch.

Mr Seow noted that limited-edition cards have previously done well. Among them are a range of cards featuring robotic characters from the Transformers movies.

About 50,000 Transformers cards were sold, despite the fact that they were available for only about three months, based on the licensing agreement.

"The range was not even sold at MRT stations, a primary channel of sales, but at places such as a customer service centre," he added.

In collector circles, some limited-edition FlashPay cards can fetch prices several times the original price.

A FlashPay card could start from $12 on the online website, and will be delivered to customers in three working days, with Nets absorbing the costs.

There are plans to sell other products in future, such as wearables that may have the FlashPay facility.

Mr Seow said Nets' priority for FlashPay is not raising revenue but getting more people to use such cards, in line with a national agenda to go cashless.

"The end goal in mind, as a business owner of FlashPay, is driving more usage of cards. We are also focused on transit usage."

FlashPay was introduced seven years ago, and now has more than 1.25 million active users a month. Users are up about 20 per cent from last year.

About 1.03 million of those use the cards for transport purposes. Active users are defined as those who have used a FlashPay card at least once in the last 30 days.

Mr Seow noted the transaction value of people using the cards has hit at least $1.5 million a day.

The payment network - whose name is short for the Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore - continues to experience strides in other ways.

It sells 30,000 FlashPay cards per month, up from more than 10,000 before, boosted by sales at the passenger service centres at MRT stations, which started from the middle of last year .

Exclusive top-up points for Nets, which do not include ATMs, have risen to 2,200 from 1,800 in 12 months.

Nets also has an app that had a new feature in February, allowing users to top-up their CashCards on the go using their credit cards.

The top-up function on the app has been used to top up a value of $300,000 each week, compared with about $50,000 in the first month.

Many of these top ups are by Malaysian motorists who top up their CashCards before entering toll booths here, said Mr Seow.

He added: "The convenience that we bring will help to drive usage, but also the overall goal of going cashless."

Number of Nets acceptance points for use of FlashPay cards for public transport fares and payments: 91,000

This article was first published on October 24, 2016.
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