Forget ez-link cards: You can soon use your Mastercard contactless bank card to pay for bus or train fares in Singapore

The Straits Times

From Thursday (April 4) onwards, commuters can simply use their Mastercard contactless bank cards or mobile phones when paying for public transport fares.

This is part of Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) SimplyGo initiative which may also include Visa later this year.

In a statement on Monday (April 1), the LTA said this new initiative saves Mastercard cardholders the trouble of carrying a separate travel card, and of making top-ups upfront before travelling.

LTA added that commuters just need to tap their Mastercard contactless bank cards on the fare reader at the train station gantry or on the bus when boarding and alighting.

LTA said all commuters who use SimplyGo with contactless bank cards will be charged the same fares as those who use ez-link and Nets FlashPay cards.

Those who hold foreign-issued bank cards may be charged administrative and overseas transaction fees.

Apart from making payments, commuters can also view their travel expenditure and history by registering for an account on the TransitLink SimplyGo Portal, which is available online and via the TL SimplyGo mobile app.

They can also choose to be notified of this information via push notifications on their mobile device each time they tap out at the end of their trips. The mobile app also offers other travel-related services and information, such as concession card application, and bus routes and timings.

Switching your card’s payment mode 

If your Mastercard comes with the built-in ez-link or Nets FlashPay functions, you have to first make a switch in your card’s payment mode.

To use SimplyGo with contactless bank cards, commuters should visit a General Ticketing Machine at any MRT or LRT station to switch their cards’ payment mode to Mastercard contactless payment.

LTA added: “Once the switch is done, all fares paid using this card will be processed, accumulated and charged to your card account.”

Commuters have to continue performing upfront top-ups before their journeys, if they have not made the switch yet.

SimplyGo can also be used on NFC-enabled devices

LTA said commuters who link their Mastercard cards to their mobile devices can use SimplyGo on NFC-enabled devices with Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

It added that commuters may need to have access to the Internet for mobile payment transactions to be completed, and that they should always use the same mobile device and card when tapping in and out.

Read also: 12 MRT stations have been announced on the new Cross Island Line – here’s where they will be