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EZ-Link and NETS’ First Ever Collaboration in Cashless Payment

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Photo courtesy of  EZ-Link and NETS

On 24 January 2018, NETS and EZ-Link announced in a joint statement that from April this year, payments out of funds in the EZ-Link purse will be accepted on all NETS terminals at hawker centres.

There are some 1,000 stalls from more than 30 hawker centres that accept EZ-Link cards and NETS payments, including those at Tanjong Pagar and Zion Road.

Other hawker centres include the ones at Beo Crescent, Tanjong Pagar, Yishun Park and Zion Road, Singapore Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and the National Technological University.

The objective of this collaboration is to make cashless payment an easy, attractive and available option for both consumers and merchants in Singapore.

Welcoming the tie-up, Ms Jacqueline Loh, deputy managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said: “A wide spectrum of consumers… can utilise the same card to make payments for their daily purchases and public transportation seamlessly.”

But she added that MAS wanted to see similar partnerships among industry players to enhance the consumer’s payment experience.

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Both companies said that this move will cater to senior citizens and students who may not have access to bank accounts. They can use their concession cards – which are used to pay for bus and train trips in Singapore – for payments at NETS terminals in hawker centres. The move is also meant to be inclusive and will ensure no one gets left behind in the journey to go cashless.

In the joint statement, EZ-Link CEO Nicholas Lee was quoted to comment that the two firms “hope to continue to establish similar partnerships to increase our acceptance points across Singapore, and empower Singaporeans of all ages in the nation’s cashless journey.”

Nets chief executive Jeffrey Goh said yesterday that the latest partnership would offer Singaporeans a “single interface experience” at hawker centres.

According to a report, these stalls also currently display a QR code that works with the e-wallets of DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB), as well as the NetsPay e-wallet.

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This QR code will soon be changed to the SGQR code, which will work with more e-wallets such as Singtel Dash, if merchants so choose.

NETS and EZ-Link said that they plan to partner up for other forms of cashless payments in time.

Observers said the success of the partnership would hinge on whether the two parties manage to strike commercially viable agreements that suit both. They said the latest tie-up was only the first step.

“This is a small but symbolic step towards integration,”said Mr Lin Yih, director of smart-card systems developer Digital Applied Research and Technology.

EZ-Link is a subsidiary of the Land Transport Authority.

Nets, on the other hand, dominates the retail space with a system that lets consumers use their ATM cards for direct deductions from their bank accounts. It is owned by DBS, OCBC and UOB.

 

 

 

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Jollibee is finally open at Waterway Point and the queues are insane

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It is no secret that Singaporeans love their fried chicken, especially the ones from the famous Filipino fast-food chain, Jollibee.

When people heard that an outlet would be opening at Waterway Point on 18 July (Friday), you can bet that many people were pretty excited about the news.

And to show their enthusiasm, some people started queueing outside the store from as early as 7.30am.

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Jollibee snapped some pictures of the insane queues and shared them on Facebook to show everyone how well-loved their fried chicken is.

One reason for the long queues was that the first 100 people in the line were entitled to the very adorable Jollibee pillows. The lucky first 5 customers managed to walk away with the limited edition Jollibee Funko POP! Figurine.

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So, if you’re a fried chicken lover and you live near Waterway Point, you definitely need to check Jollibee’s new outlet out (maybe after the queues have died down)!

Address: 83 Punggol Central, Singapore 828763
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Punggol

Photo credits: Jollibee Singapore

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Singapore’s first and only Hello Kitty themed cafe to shut down in 2019

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All good things come to an end — and so it shall be with Hello Kitty. Not the actual character of course, but the themed cafe inspired by the iconic feline character at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Earlier today, the 24-hour eatery announced in a Facebook post that they will officially shut its doors for good on February 8, 2019.

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Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore / Facebook

This piece of news came as a shock to Hello Kitty’s throng of diehard fans, who queued up for hours on the cafe’s opening day in May 2016 just to snap selfies with the beloved character. No statement has been issued as to why Hello Kitty Orchard Garden would be closing down, but according to operator Europa Specialty Restaurant, an end of licensing and partnership with Sanrio is the reason for closure.

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Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore / Facebook

To mark its departure, the cafe will be throwing tea parties over two weekends in December. It’ll be all fun and games, and don’t forget to savour their feline-shaped waffles and smoked salmon quiche for one last time.

Photo Credit: Hello Kitty Cafe Singapore / Facebook

However, be prepared to spend. A ticket for two sells at $138, and it comes with food and drinks, limited edition Orchids For You figurines and exclusive thank-you cards autographed by Hello Kitty herself.

Guess goodbye really comes at a cost. Buy your tickets here.

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Popular influencer NasDaily releases video celebrating Singapore

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After making a surprise announcement that he was coming to Singapore to film a video, popular travel vlogger NasDaily releases a one miniature long video celebrating all the things we take for granted as citizens of the little red dot.

Nas is famously known for his daily one minute videos which he uploads on his Facebook page, NasDaily. The influencer is known for travelling all over the world and learning about cultures and practices and then making videos about them to educate his viewers.

On Tuesday (21 Aug), Nas put out a post on Facebook announcing that he was visiting Singapore on 22 August and asked fans to gather outside the Singapore Indoor Stadium to be part of his video.

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On the day, over 700 people turned up to be part of this experience.

The video, which was released on 23 August, is entitled “Why I Hate Singapore” and it basically celebrates Singapore’s ethnic diversity as well as many things that Singaporeans take for granted such as the food and the fact that we have drinkable and clean water running from our taps.

While the video acknowledged problems Singaporeans face such as inequality and the high cost of living, it did so in a way that glossed over the problems and encouraged people to appreciate what we have.

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At the event meet up itself, which was changed from outside the Esplanade to the Singapore Sports Hub, which agreed to help the star to shoot his video without break-in any anti-gathering laws, participants got to enjoy Nas’s highly energetic self.

The vlogger talked with fans and gave them a glimpse into what producing his videos took.

Despite the crowd, fans were thrilled to be part of this journey with Nas.

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