Network for Electronic Transfers
The Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) is a Singaporean company that developed the CashCard, which is a stored-value card akin to electronic cash. Since it was launched in 1996, over six million cards have been issued across Singapore. The NETS website allows customers to electronically reload NETS CashCards, view the transaction history, check the expiration date and verify the card's balance. In order to sign up for an online account, customers must enter the 16-digit NETS CashCard CAN number located on the back of their card. They will be prompted to fill out an online form, after which they will be able to access their account.
The CashCard is typically used for small payments, such as parking fees, road toll fees, pay phones and vending machines. NETS advertises partnerships with ERP (Electronic Road Pricing), VEP (Vehicle Entry Permit), water dispensers and car washes at selected petrol stations. The CashCards can be used at any retail store that accepts NETS cards.
Customers can only add credit to their CashCard after the initial value of the card has been completely used. Typically, cards are sold in both S$5 and S$20 denominations. Unlike other types of stored-value cards in Singapore, funds must be manually added to the card. Customers can replenish the value of their cards at any CashCard terminal, designated NETS terminal, selected petrol stations or ATMs. Most customers add values between S$10 to S$50, although the cards hold a maximum of S$500.
Participating Banks and Retail Stores
Cash cards can be topped up at any NETS-participating bank including DBS Bank Limited, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, United Overseas Bank Limited and Standard Chartered Bank. Customers can purchase NETS cards at the NETS Customer Service Center, Automobile Association of Singapore, Carrefour, Cheers, 7-Eleven and selected car parks. Distributors of NETS CashCards display "Authorised NETS CashCard Distributors" decals in their store.
EZ-Link Cash Cards
EZ-Link, a competitor of NETS, offers another type of cash card using Sony FeliCa smartcard technology. Although it offers limited uses in the retail sector, customers use the EZ-Link card primarily for the payment of public transportation fares, such as Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit and public buses. Because the card is more efficient than cash transactions, it significantly expedites the boarding process. The value of EZ-Link cards can be replenished automatically, unlike NETS cards.