SINGAPORE — The free exchange of Nets Flashpay cards for a SimplyGo-compatible alternative, Nets Prepaid cards, was halted on Friday (Jan 19), the day it was supposed to start.
The payment services group Nets announced the temporary suspension of the card exchange in an update early on Friday to a past Facebook post that announced the “1-for-1 card exchange program”.
The exchange was planned to run from Jan 19 to July 18, in preparation for the upcoming transition to the account-based SimplyGo system for all adult public transport users.
In response to TODAY’s queries, Nets said that the card exchange programme for the Nets FlashPay card provided at SimplyGo ticket offices is “temporarily unavailable until further notice”.
“Nets FlashPay cardholders can continue to use the card for public transport and top up at ticketing machines until June 1, 2024,” it added.
It did not give any reason for the temporary suspension or indication of when the programme might be restarted.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced the phasing out of its existing card-based ticketing system for adult commuters in favour of a full adoption of SimplyGo-compatible payment methods earlier this month.
This move has upset some commuters, many of whom have expressed frustration over having “no choice” but to change to the SimplyGo system that does not currently allow commuters to see a transit card’s balance value and deducted fares at scanners.
The full adoption of the SimplyGo system for adult commuters will mean that people now using cards for public transport fares such as Nets FlashPay and Ez-link cards not compatible with SimplyGo would have to switch to the SimplyGo payment method before June 1 this year.
These payment methods include SimplyGo Ez–link cards, Nets prepaid cards, contactless bank cards and credit or debit cards added to mobile wallets such as ApplePay or GooglePay.
Concession card holders such as students and seniors can continue to use their existing cards.
Non-concession Ez-link card holders were urged to upgrade their Ez-link adult cards to SimplyGo to continue using it for their public transport payments by June 1.
Since Nets FlashPay cards cannot be upgraded to SimplyGo, Nets rolled out a card exchange programme where Nets FlashPay card holders may exchange their stored value card for a Nets prepaid card.
Nets FlashPay cards will continue to be accepted for retail and motoring-related payments at Nets payment points.
In a press release on Jan 9, Nets said that Nets FlashPay cardholders could visit any of the 44 SimplyGo ticket offices, formerly known as TransitLink ticket offices, to make the exchange.
The remaining card value would be refunded and a free Nets prepaid card would be issued to facilitate commuters’ travel.
Nets also said then that those seeking a refund on the remaining value in their Nets FlashPay cards may do so at SimplyGo ticket offices before July 18, or at automated teller machines or Nets customer service centres within a year of their card expiry.
TODAY has reached out to LTA for comment on the halting of the Nets card exchange programme.