In this article

Earlier yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) revealed that they’re launching a brand new Near Field Communication (NFC) SIM.

Besides paying for transport fares, the NFC SIM can also be used for payments at more than 30,000 EZ-Link acceptance points island-wide. This of course, includes retail and F&B outlets.

In a brief Facebook post, LTA said: “when inserted into an NFC-enabled mobile phone, the NFC SIM turns your phone into a contact-less media to pay for your MRT, LRT and bus rides using just your phone.

As of today, only 19 mobile phones have been approved for use with EZ-Link NFC SIM. See if you can spot yours in this list:

Image credit: LTA
Image credit: LTA

In a nut shell

The new NSF SIM works just like our regular EZ-Link cards. To make payment or to top up, all users need to do is turn on the NFC feature on their mobile phones. There’s also an app for users to check their top-up value, EZ-Link purse balance, and transaction history.

In a statement released today, the IDA Executive Deputy Chairman, Steve Leonard, applauded the move.

“What is important to commuters is ease and convenience in their daily commute and this allows people to move effortlessly around the island at the tap of a mobile phone. In our Smart Nation journey, innovation will be increasingly vital, using tech to solve big problems and serve our community.”

Image credit: EZ-Link NFC
Image credit: EZ-Link NFC

The telcos

The new EZ-Link NFC SIM is available to the public from today. And M1 users will get the first dibs. It’s available at M1 retail stores at S$37.45. M1 users who sign up from this Wednesday to April 30th 2016 will have their activation fee of S$9.10 waived.

Describing transit as the “killer phone app”, M1 Chief Marketing Officer, P. Subramaniam, said, “We are pleased to be the first to offer customers the convenience of making payment with the one device that is always with them — their phone.”

Image Credit: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg
Image Credit: Business Times

Singtel users will be able to purchase the NFC SIMs from its retail shops at prevailing SIM rates with no additional costs. The official website states that the S$5 EZ-Link registration fee will be waived for a limited time. However, the sale of Singtel Transit NFC SIMs will only start in late April 2016.

The NSF SIM will set Starhub users back at S$37.45, and $26.75 for a SIM replacement, starting from April 2nd 2016. The NFC EZ-Link purse fee of S$5 is also waived until further notice.

This move was initiated after a successful attempt that ended in February 2016. The joint trail involved the testing of 15 NFC-enabled mobile phone models with the new NFC SIM. It recorded more than 30,000 transactions by 1,000 users.

One thing’s for sure, Singapore is fast becoming one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.

Featured image credit: Channels News Asia

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