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Secure Transactions News

CEPAS EZ-Link card launched with Watchdata and Gemalto

Thursday 12 March 2009

Withthe new CEPAS-compliant ez-link card, consumers will enjoy the ease andconvenience of a single card for seamless and speedy contactless electronicpayment of goods and services around Singapore. Using its TimeCOS contactlessCPU card technology solution, Watchdata passed the testing  criteria set by LTAto develop the TimeCOS CEPAS-compliant card with the highest level of security,CC EAL5+.

Gemalto announced it is providing end-to-end personalization and distributionservices for new CEPAS-compliant concession cards issued by the Singapore LandTransport Authority (LTA). Gemalto is commissioned to securely personalize anddistribute the new contactless CEPAS-compliant concession cards. Personalizationwith the cardholder’s digital identity and photograph for this project has beendone for the concession cards for students, National Servicemen and SeniorCitizens.

The CEPAS provides the command sets and data bytes that can be used forcontactless e-purse applications, and focuses on the debit and credit areas. Themost recent version of the standard is CEPAS 2.0. The standard will allow theinteroperability of multi-purpose stored value (MPSV) card payment schemesfrom different card issuers and system operators.

CEPAS or the Singapore Standard for Contactless ePurse Application is a result ofclose collaboration by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)with different industry players and the Land Transport Authority of Singapore(LTA).  CEPAS is spearheaded by the Infocomm Development Authority ofSingapore (IDA), and is one of the government’s key e-Payment initiatives underSingapore's iN2015 Infocomm master plan. The vision of CEPAS is for Singaporeansto have a single multi-purpose stored value (MPSV) card for use all aroundSingapore for micro-payments. This includes transit (bus, MRT, LRT), taxi,motoring (ERP, parking), retail, and other services. CEPAS is a result of closecollaboration by IDA with different industry players, Network for ElectronicTransfers (NETS) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The introduction of CEPAS is part of the implementation of the government planto make NETS and ez-link converge. For the time being, micro-paymentlandscape in Singapore is fragmented with different standards. EZ-Link controlsthe transit space and NETS controls the motoring (Electronic Road Pricing system,parking) space. On the retail space, NETS currently dominates this space, withEZ-Link having limited presence. Cards and readers from NETS and EZ-Linkcannot currently interoperate and consumers hold different cards for payment ofdifferent services and goods.

EZ-Link was the first company to start selling CEPAS complaint cards when itintroduced CEPAS EZ-Link cards at the end of December 2008. The new cards willbe accepted for non-transit and retail payment applications like McDonalds, 7-Eleven and SMRT Taxis. The new ez-link cards can eventually be used in the nextgeneration In-vehicle Unit for Electronic Road Pricing transactions and parkingpayments at Electronic Parking System (EPS) car parks. In preparation for theexpected increased usage, the new card can store a value of up to SGD 500 (EUR256).