Commuters in Singapore may no longer need to top up their transport fare cards

Nayela Deeba

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore and Mastercard will soon conduct a trial which will allow direct payment of public transport rides via Mastercard's contactless debit or credit cards.

Even though Mastercard's contactless cards can be currently used as transport fare cards, they require a stored value in them. The Account-Based ticketing trial aims to eliminate the need for stored value in the card and simply reflect all charges for the public transport rides on credit or debit card bills. Commuters can track their journey and fare payment history through TransitLink ABT Portal or Mobile Services app.

To be launched on 20 March 2017, the pilot expects to see participation of at least 100,000 commuters. Commuters with Singapore-issued Mastercard contactless credit or debit cards can register their interest to be part of the trial on the TransitLink ABT Portal, if they have not been pre-registered by their banks.

 "LTA is committed to leveraging technology advancements to provide more convenience to commuters. Account-Based ticketing using contactless credit or debit cards will add another option on how commuters can pay for their public transport rides," said Ngien Hoon Ping, Chief Executive, LTA.

According to LTA, this pilot follows on an earlier initiative that enables motorists to pay their Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges using their credit/debit cards or via their bank account, instead of a physically stored-value card.