NETS (company)

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NETS
Privately held company
IndustryFinancial Services
Founded1985; 34 years ago (1985)[1]
HeadquartersSingapore
Area served
  • Singapore
  • India
Key people
Jeffery Goh (CEO)
Products
Parent
Websitewww.nets.com.sg
NETS Debit on various payment terminals (clockwise from top-left): Verifone VX520, Verifone VX820, Ingenico ICT250, Ingenico ISC250.

Network for Electronic Transfers or more commonly known as NETS; is a Singaporean electronic payment service provider founded in 1985 by a consortium of local banks to establish the debit network and drive the adoption of electronic payments in Singapore. It is owned by DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB).[2]

The NETS Group (comprising NETS, BCS and BCSIS) provides a full suite of payments and financial processing services including direct debit and credit payments at point-of-sale (NETS) and online (eNETS), mobile payments (NETSPay), card services (CashCard, FlashPay card), electronic funds transfer (FAST, Paynow, GIRO) and cheque processing services (CTS). NETS is also a member of the Asian Payment Network (APN) and a council member of UnionPay International.

History[edit]

NETS was first introduced to the public on June 27, 1985 as a 2-month pilot project involving 10,000 ATM card holders from the five local banks, namely DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, UOB, POSB Bank and OUB through 64 terminals installed at participating government offices, supermarkets, department stores and petrol kiosks.[3] The service was officially launched on January 18, 1986, allowing 1.3 million ATM card holders to make transactions through the initial NETS network of 195 terminals located in various retail outlets and by 1993, consumer spending through NETS reached S$1.14 billion.[4]

Acceptance[edit]

NETS operates Singapore’s national debit scheme enabling customers of DBS Bank, POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB to make payments using their physical/contactless ATM cards or mobile devices at more than 102,000 acceptance points in Singapore including major retailers, food courts, hawker centres, convenience stores and supermarkets.

The nationwide acceptance infrastructure is the largest in Singapore and includes 40,000 Unified Point-of-Sale (Unified POS) terminals (which accept NETS, NETS FlashPay, debit and credit cards such as VISA, Mastercard, American Express, UnionPay, RuPay and JCB) and 55,000 QR acceptance points (for payments via NETSPay, PayLah!, Pay Anyone and Mighty). In 2011, NETS’ debit system was designated as national payment system by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).[2]

Card services[edit]

CashCard[edit]

NETS introduced the 1st generation chip-based CashCard in 1995. The CashCard is a stored value card that is predominantly used as a payment mode for Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) and car park charges since the introduction of the in-vehicle unit in 1997. CashCard can also be used for retail purchases.

vCashCard[edit]

In May 2015, NETS launched vCashCard, a virtual wallet for road tolls payment that allows motorists to drive through Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries seamlessly. Road toll payments are automatically charged to their bank accounts or debit/credit cards. With NETS vCashCard, motorists do not need to worry about forgetting to insert a physical CashCard/FlashPay into the in-vehicle unit or having insufficient value in the CashCard/FlashPay and paying unnecessary ERP admin fees. Motorists can sign up for auto top-up service and view their ERP transactions at the vCashCard website or NETS vCashCard app from App Store or Google Play.

Contactless CashCard[edit]

In May 2018, the 2nd generation contactless CashCard was released. The CEPAS CashCard card is based on the same specifications of the CEPAS FlashPay card, thus both cards can be used interchangeably.

FlashPay[edit]

NETS FlashPay
NETS Contactless CashCard
CEPAS FlashPay Card.jpg
LocationSingapore
Launched
  • 9 October 2009 (NETS FlashPay branding)
  • 2 May 2018 (NETS Contactless CashCard branding)
Technology
OperatorNETS Pte Ltd
ManagerTransitLink Pte Ltd
CurrencySGD ($500 maximum load)
Credit expiry7 years
Auto rechargeGIRO Auto topup
Validity
Retailed
  • TransitLink ticket offices
  • MRT passenger service centres
  • 7-Eleven stores
  • SingPost
Variants
  • Adult Cards
Website

The Singapore Government launched CEPAS 2.0 (Contactless e-Purse Application), a Singaporean specification of a common standard for electronic money smart card, in 2009. The transit market was opened to more issuers enabling NETS to participate and subsequently launch the NETS FlashPay card on 9 October 2009.

FlashPay is a multi-purpose contactless stored value smart card that can be used for a huge variety of quick payments at/on – MRT/LRT, public buses, taxis, ERP gantries (with the dual-mode in-vehicle unit), car parks (which have been upgraded to accept CEPAS-compliant cards) and 102,000 retail acceptance points island-wide.[5]

In October 2010, NETS launched the Auto Top Up service for the NETS FlashPay card, allowing commuters to automatically top up the value on their cards to a predetermined amount (S$30, S$40 or S$50) when it runs low or when there is insufficient stored value on the card to make payment at all MRT and LRT stations, public buses, ERP gantries and EPS (upgraded) carparks.[6]

Payment solutions[edit]

NETS EFTPOS[edit]

NETS EFTPOS is a nationwide infrastructure that enables DBS, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, POSB, UOB and Standard Chartered Bank customers to make purchases at points-of-sale using their ATM cards. The NETS EFTPOS service is available at more than 102,000 acceptance points throughout Singapore.

NETS Unified POS[edit]

NETS Unified POS was introduced to accept contact/contactless, credit and debit payments on one terminal. The terminal accepts NETS, NETS FlashPay, debit and credit schemes such as VISA, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay and JCB, cards issued by partnering banks (e.g. BCA bank), as well as NFC-enabled mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. NETS Unified POS can be integrated with loyalty programmes, prepaid services and point-of-sale via Electronic Cash Register interface.

eNETS[edit]

eNETS is an online payment gateway services. It enables payment from all major credit cards and currencies as well as Direct Debit (internet banking payments) from the major banks in Singapore and China, including DBS (Singapore and Hong Kong), UOB, OCBC, Citibank and BNU.

NETS eCommerce[edit]

NETS eCommerce was launched in 2016 to provide a quick and affordable end-to-end solution to set up webstores. The solution is integrated with secured payment options using eNETS Debit and Credit.

NETS Contactless, NETS QR, and NETSPay[edit]

NETSPay
NETSPay icon.png
NETSPay Home Screen.jpg
Home screen of NETSPay, showing DBS, OCBC and UOB cards provisioned.
Developer(s)Network for Electronic Transfers Pte Ltd.
Initial releaseOctober 20, 2017; 15 months ago (2017-10-20)
Stable release
1.1.5 / November 22, 2018; 2 months ago (2018-11-22)
PlatformAndroid (NFC, QR code)
iOS (QR code)
Contactless bank card (NFC)
LicenseProprietary
WebsiteNETSPay

NETSPay is a digital wallet app. Launched in October 2017, it introduces 2 new payment options for NETS debit, NETS Contactless and NETS QR. NETS Contactless is supported on Android devices via NFC and HCE, and NETS QR is supported on Android & iOS devices via QR code.

ATM cardholders can digitise their bankcards with the app, replacing the debit card chip and PIN transaction at point-of-sale terminals that have been upgraded to accept contactless and QR code payments. Fingerprint ID or passcode authentication is required to access the app, with a user configurable session timeout. No PIN is required for transactions below $100.

NETS Contactless ATM cards were launched from the first quarter of 2018. In December 2018, NETS Contactless cards issued by DBS/POSB, UOB, OCBC began to be accepted for LTA's public transport account-based ticketing trial.[7]

Payment terminals[edit]

These terminals are issued to retailers to accept NETS debit, NETS FlashPay/CashCard, debit/credit card payments.

Countertop Model Pin Pad Model Retailers Contactless Payment QR Code Payment Remarks
Verifone VX520 Verifone 1000SE Default terminal issued to most retail outlets since 2014. Yes
(set as default "Tap & Pay" app)

(supported on new firmware)

Printed on paper roll

(supported on new firmware)

  • Terminals with firmware that has not been updated do not support NETS Contactless and NETS QR.
  • As the terminal screen is too small, a QR code has to be generated and printed on receipt paper for each NETS QR code transaction.
Ingenico ICT220 Ingenico IPP310 Most retail outlets with explicit support for NETS QR and NETS Contactless. Yes
(set as default "Tap & Pay" app)
Yes
  • Supports NETS debit (Chip-and-PIN, contactless, dynamic QR code) and NETS FlashPay.
  • NETS QR code is generated dynamically and displayed on terminal screen.
  • Capable of accepting Visa PayWave, MasterCard PayPass, Amex ExpressPay*, UnionPay QuickPass*, JCB QUICPay* (*dependent on merchant)
Ingenico iWL250 n/a Retailers that require a portable terminal. (e.g roadshows) Yes Yes
Ingenico ISC250 n/a 7-Eleven, Isetan, Starbucks

Self-checkout counters at Cold Storage, Giant Hypermarket

Yes Yes
Ingenico ICT250 n/a Self-ordering kiosks at Burger King, KFC, KOI Thé, Pepper Lunch, etc. Yes Yes
Verifone VX820 n/a Self-checkout counters at McDonald's, NTUC FairPrice (upgraded outlets) Yes
(set as default "Tap & Pay" app)
Yes
Verifone VX680 n/a Food Junction N/A N/A
  • Used for NETS FlashPay RSVP (Retailer Stored Value Programme) payment.

The launch of NETS QR and NETS Contactless in October 2017 required merchants' payment terminals to undergo a software update, as previously only chip-and-pin NETS debit payment was available. Merchants may display decals in stores to advertise acceptance of QR and contactless payments. Customers can identify if NETS QR and NETS Contactless are accepted by looking at the options listed on the payment terminal's menu.

Option Terminal with new firmware Terminal with old firmware
F1 NETS FlashPay NETS FlashPay
F2 NETS (will prompt "Tap/Insert Bank Card") NETS (will prompt "Insert Bank Card")
F3 Credit Card/UPI International Card
F4 NETS QR Credit Card

Comparison of payment modes[edit]

Payment Mode Description Year Introduced Magnetic Stripe Chip and PIN Contactless payment QR code payment
NETS Debit Direct debit from bank account. 1985: Magnetic stripe card
2014: EMV card
2017: Contactless card & NETSPay mobile app
No
(deprecated in 2014)
Yes Yes
(with a contactless ATM card at upgraded terminals, PIN required for ≥ $100)
Yes
(using NETSPay app)
NETSPay Stores digitised NETS Debit cards.

Includes a prepaid wallet for peer-to-peer money transfers and UnionPay support.

2017 N/A N/A Yes
(with an NFC-enabled phone at upgraded terminals, PIN required for ≥ $100)
Yes
(at upgraded terminals, PIN required for ≥ $100)
NETS CashCard (1st generation) Stored-value wallet superseded by FlashPay/Contactless CashCard.

Retained for compatibility with 1st gen in-vehicle units.

1995 No
(deprecated in 2014)
Yes
(No authentication required)
No N/A
NETS FlashPay
NETS Contactless CashCard (2nd generation)
Stored-value wallet based on CEPAS standard.

Compatible with dual mode in-vehicle units.

2009: NETS FlashPay
2018: NETS Contactless CashCard
No No Yes
(No authentication required)
N/A

ATM switching services[edit]

NETS provides local and regional ATM switching services for banks.[8] NETS partnered with Malaysian Electronic Payment System (MEPS) in Malaysia to enable bilateral cross-border ATM withdrawal services, and UnionPay in China to enable its cardholders to make purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs in Singapore. India’s Prime Minister also made a deal wherein Indian RuPay Cards have acceptance in Singapore and same for the Singaporean counterpart in India, during his visit in May 2018

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NETWORK FOR ELECTRONIC TRANSFERS (SINGAPORE) PTE LTD (198500065G) - Singapore Business Directory". SGPBusiness.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Clearing and Settlement Systems in Singapore". Monetary Authority of Singapore. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  3. ^ Cashless shopping. (1985, June 27). Singapore Monitor, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Accessed on June 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Nets rings up record $1.14b in consumer spending. The Business Times, p. 2. January 21, 1993. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Accessed on June 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "NETS launches FlashPay card that allows payments for transport, retail services". Channel NewsAsia.
  6. ^ "NETS auto top up puts the heat on competition". mypaper.
  7. ^ NETS Contactless Cards in Transit
  8. ^ "NETS". www.asianpaymentnetwork.com. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

External links[edit]