Not going to ramble much on this because the issue was never followed up by the relevant authorities. They were probably glad that it was all "hot air".
IDA should enforce Cepas compliance, not leave it to the marketCashless payment: Pro-active examples IDA should copy
I refer toLast Saturday's reply by the Infocomm Development Authority's (IDA) reply on e-payment adoption( Ms Jennifer Toh,"Working towards complete cashless convenience" ; Saturday) on e-payment adoption was puzzling.
She saidThe IDA states that card issuers and merchant acquirers require a business agreement to enable terminals to accept all Contactless ePurse Application Standard (Cepas) cards.
(new paragraph) This means that
business entitiesbusinesses have effectively hijackedbeen allowed to hijack a customers'customer's choice of which Cepas card to use.
I find this response to be bewildering. On one hand,So while the IDA says it wants to promote an e-payment culture . On the other, it appears to be taking a "hands off" approach in the process. ThisSuch an attitude actuallyhinders true competition in the e-payment market , even though it reeks of government heavy-handedness.
When the local telecommunication market was
liberalizedliberalised, IDA required alltelcos to ensure that subscribers fromto one telco could contact those from rival telcos seamlessly. It imposesimposed stiff penalties if telcos dodid not meet this requirement.
If the telco market had followed what is required for Cepas cross-acceptance, subscribers would need to have their own private agreements to contact family or friends who
usesubscribe to other telcos !.
Another example of how government intervention
leadshas led to improved market fairness is the Media Development Authority's (MDA) new stance on set-top boxes.
(new paragraph) MDA will soon require programming from
any providerproviders to be available on any set-top box. This is regardless of whether the customer has subscribed withto SingTel or Starhub.
(new paragraph) Customers thus benefit from more programming options and lower costs
of acquiring set top boxes. They are also freed from being subject to their content provider's whims and fancies.
I urgeIDA toshould learn from its telco liberalizationliberalisation experience and MDA's set-top box policy in promoting e-payment with Cepas cards.
To that end, I suggest a carrot-and-stick method to ensure a level playing field.
-(new paragraph, removed bullet point) CarrotThe carrot: provideProvide subsidies for Cepas equipment makers whothat ensure acceptance forof all Cepas cards ( EZ-Linkez-link, Nets Flashpay , etcand so on).
-(new paragraph, removed bullet point) StickThe stick: penalizePenalise card issuers and merchant acquirers whothat restrict customers to using Cepas cards from only one issuer.