The Land Transport Authority (LTA), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), and EZ-Link have concluded a joint trial with the mobile network operators and public transport operators on the use of compatible mobile phones with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to make public transport payments.
With the new NFC Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), compatible NFC-enabled mobile phones can now be used for payments on MRT, LRT and public buses, as well as at more than 30,000 ez-link acceptance points island-wide, including retail, food and beverage outlets, and on taxis. Please refer to Annex A for the list of compatible mobile phones.
With the embedded ez-link purse, which complies with the specifications of the Contactless e-Purse Application (CePAS), the new NFC SIM turns a compatible NFC-enabled mobile phone into a contactless media for transactions and works seamlessly with the existing contactless infrastructure. Users simply need to turn on the NFC function on their mobile phones to make payments and top up the purse, as they would with an ez-link card. Users can also check their ez-link purse balance, transaction history, and top-up value using the EZ-Link mobile application.
The launch follows the encouraging results from the joint trial which ended in February 2016. Commencing in August 2014 with rail services and extended to buses in September 2015, the trial involved the testing of 15 NFC-enabled mobile phone models with the new NFC SIM, recording more than 30,000 transactions by 1,000 users. This helped the partners refine the performance and reliability of the NFC technology for the public transport system.
Said LTA Chief Executive, Mr Chew Men Leong: “This is a milestone in the use of NFC technology in public transit in Singapore. We have been testing various innovative fare payment systems, and bringing these NFC SIMs and mobile phone models into the public transit ticketing environment bears fruit to LTA’s on-going efforts to leverage on technology to bring greater convenience to commuters through new and convenient ways to pay for travel.”
“EZ-Link is pleased to be the first to make NFC payment on public transit a reality in Singapore. In collaboration with LTA, IDA, M1, Singtel, StarHub and the public transport operators, we have successfully leveraged upon our contactless payment expertise to enable the public to enjoy the convenience and benefits of using their personal mobile phones as ez-link cards. This is an initial but critical step that will open up many other NFC possibilities in the future,” said Mr Nicholas Lee, Chief Executive Officer, EZ-Link Pte Ltd.
Said IDA Executive Deputy Chairman, Mr Steve Leonard: “As one of the first countries in the world to have a nationwide deployment of mobile NFC services by operators, this NFC pilot in public transit further demonstrates how tech innovation can be used in daily life. 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.”
The new EZ-Link NFC SIM will be gradually made available to the public from today. For availability and pricing, please contact the respective mobile network operators.
More information on the new EZ-Link NFC SIM can be found on www.ezlinknfc.com.
 Compared to the NFC SIM launched by EZ-Link and IDA in 2012 designed only for retail acceptance, the new NFC SIM is a next generation, full-service NFC SIM that can be used for public transport payments as well.
 The EZ-Link mobile application is available for download on Google Play Store.