Visa, EZ-Link and QB team up to offer the convenience of two cards in one

Visa to work with EZ-Link and QB, to embed EZ-Link functionality into credit, debit and prepaid cards in Singapore
Issued By: EZ-Link Pte Ltd, Transit Link Pte Ltd

Visa Asia Pacific today announced an agreement with QB Pte Ltd (QB) and EZ-Link giving Visa the exclusive rights to embed ez-link functionality in Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards in Singapore.

This is Singapore’s first commercial implementation combining global payment capabilities with ez-link cards, which are used by Singaporeans primarily for rail and bus transportation along with contactless payment offered at merchants managed exclusively by QB. In the coming six months, it is expected that Singapore banks will take advantage of this strategic alliance by offering Visa cards with ez-link capabilities.

The partnership follows last year’s agreement between Visa and EZ-Link, which gave commuters the ability to automatically top-up their ez-link cards at transit gates and public buses by linking the transit card to a designated Visa credit or debit card.

Gordon Cooper, Visa’s country manager for Singapore and Brunei said, "This new partnership takes convenience in payment to a new level. In one card, Singapore consumers will have the global payment opportunities of Visa credit or debit, along with the ability to travel on the public transport system and utilize contactless payment with ez-link."

With approximately 3.3 million Visa cards in Singapore and more than 8 million ez-link cards issued, Singapore’s consumers stand to benefit.

Nicholas Lee, senior vice president of EZ-Link commented on the convenience of combining both ez-link and Visa features into one plastic card, "Because the ez-link functionality will be embedded directly into a Visa card, top-ups will be done automatically whenever the ez-link purse balance reaches zero. Never again will consumers have to worry about having enough money on their ez-link card when they board a train or bus."

Chua Siew Ling, General Manager of QB, expressed optimism that local banks would rally behind the new card. "Singaporeans are busy and always looking for ways to simplify their lives. This is the ultimate all-in-one payment product because it combines the universal acceptance of a Visa card with the convenience of the ez-link card that is used not only on trains and buses in Singapore but also at the growing number of QB’s ez-link-enabled retail partners outside the transit system. QB will continue to work toward adding new functionality and services to benefit ez-link cardholders and our merchants in the coming months."

In 2005, there were approximately 66 million Visa transactions in Singapore with a retail sales volume (usage at point-of-sale) of S$9.2 billion. Annually, EZ-Link handles approximately S$1 billion in transit transactions. QB, which is the designated processor of non-transit sector ez-link transactions, handles the processing of non-transit ez-link purchases and top-ups, which has grown steadily since QB rolled-out its first merchant implementation in mid-2003.

EZ-Link, QB and Visa are in discussions about future technology options for the products including incorporation of the combined Visa /ez-link functionality into mobile phones

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