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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Paying for groceries? Just tap your wristband

Look out for new and upcoming accessories to help increase the convenience of cashless payments.
The Straits Times - August 2, 2011
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Paying for groceries? Just tap your wristband -- PHOTOS: NETS

CUSTOMERS will soon be able to pay for meals or groceries simply by tapping a wristband or keychain against a card reader.

The accessories - which may also be used on trains or buses - will mean there is no need to carry around ez-link or Nets FlashPay cards.

Payment service Network for Electronic Transfers (Nets) will be selling them from the year end at an expected price of $15.

'We are not looking to replace the cards, but to offer an alternative form of payment that is out of the wallet but not complicated to use,' said Nets' general manager of consumer services, Ms Cynthia Liaw.

The wristband and keychain will work in the same way as the Nets FlashPay card, which is accepted at about 14,000 outlets, including chains such as Watsons, 7-Eleven, Starbucks and Bengawan Solo. Customers will be able to use the new accessories at these venues.

The Land Transport Authority is looking into whether they can be used on trains and buses. A spokesman told The Straits Times that this will depend on how well they work and on public demand.

Customers will be able to top them up just like FlashPay cards at about 4,000 places islandwide, including

iNets kiosks and the ATMs of Singapore banks.

Nets is currently refining the look of the wristband and keychain, and is looking for fashion and sports brands to help turn them into must-have fashion accessories.

The idea follows the success of a similar initiative by Hong Kong transport operator Octopus.

Commuters there can enter the underground system using a charm that can be hung on mobile phones. It is decorated with a figurine of Rilakkuma, a Japanese toy bear, and can be bought on the Octopus website for between HK$138 and HK$168 (S$21 and S$26) depending on the design.

Sports trainer Clarence Sim, 25, said he would consider using the wristband to avoid having to carry his wallet when he goes for swimming lessons. 'At $15 a piece, it is not too prohibitive,' he added.

IRENE THAM

 

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