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LTA rolls out wearable tech trial for bus and train fare payments

Zafirah Salim | Sept. 1, 2015
To achieve a faster and more convenient travel experience, commuters simply need to wave their Sony SG50 SmartBand, encoded with a digital CEPAS card, to the fare card reader to pay for their journeys.

Picture credits to LTA

A total of 200 commuters are now taking part in a six-month wearable tech trial to enable mobile payment for bus and train fare transactions.

This is the latest initiative spearheaded by the Land Authority Transport of Singapore (LTA) to leverage technology to bring greater convenience to commuters through new, innovative and convenient ways to pay for travel.

In partnership with Singtel, Sony, EZ-Link, NETS and TransitLink, this trial involves participants to wear Sony SG50 SmartBands that are integrated with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. To use, participants simply need to wave their SmartBand to the fare card reader to pay for their ride. Each band is encoded with a digital CEPAS card that is designed for fast, convenient and reliable contactless payments on public transit, according to LTA.

To top-up the stored value in the band, participants have to place it on the card reader of a top-up device, just as they would with a regular transit card. Alternatively, commuters can also opt to register for automatic top-up services.

For greater mobility, participants can establish a Bluetooth connection with the Singtel mWallet app to check their band's stored value balance and transactions while on the move. LTA said that in future, the app can also be used to perform top-ups, while the SmartBands may be synced with the commuter's phone so that they can help track their daily activities and sleep quality.

It added that trial participants may also use their SmartBands at retail and merchant partners, including food and beverage outlets as well as libraries.

"The combination of wearable technology that enables faster, easier and more convenient transit transactions, with mobile retail payment services and lifestyle/wellness tracking, is an exciting development for commuters," said LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong. "Insights provided by the trial will help LTA assess the performance of fare transactions using the smart band and gather feedback in assessing the potential use of wearable technology in public transit." 

This trial is slated to conclude on February 29, 2016.


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