New car park payment system will be more convenient: Nets

New car park payment system will be more convenient: Nets
TODAY file photo.
Published: 10:24 PM, September 14, 2017
Updated: 12:17 AM, September 15, 2017

SINGAPORE — Nets’ QR code payment system for car parks will mean motorists no longer have to scramble to top up their cashcards at the gantry when they find out there is insufficient money or their cards are incompatible.

“The Nets QR code payment mode will provide greater convenience to motorists,” a spokesman for the payment solutions provider said Thursday (Sept 14), giving more details of the proposed system.

“Not only is it an additional payment option for motorists, in situations where there are insufficient funds in the CashCard or FlashPay card, motorists can choose to pay via the NETS QR code instead of stopping to top-up their CashCard/FlashPay card.”

On Tuesday, Nets announced a slew of initiatives, such as offering new payment modes — including QR (quick response) codes allowing for mobile payments, new Nets contactless cards and an app storing a digital version of Nets ATM cards — to all its existing acceptance points by the middle of next year.

The QR code payment system will also be introduced at car parks, with a trial to be conducted at the end of the year at a car park in Changi Airport, the firm’s spokesman clarified.

Earlier, the company had said the QR code system would be available at the car parks of all four airport terminals by the end of this year.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, the spokesman said the firm is in discussions with other major car park operators such as Wilson Parking and Metro Parking.

Motorists would need to sign up for the electronic wallets of DBS, OCBC or UOB, then log in to scan the QR code, which will be placed at the exit gantry.

As with other aspects of electronic payments, Singapore is lagging behind other countries when it comes to using QR codes to pay for parking.

For instance, in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales, parking app operator Parkmobile in 2012 enabled drivers to pay for parking via QR codes using its app. These QR codes are placed on parking meters by the road.

In London as well as several cities in the United States, similar services have been offered since 2011.

While motorists TODAY spoke to welcomed the idea, they felt that paying for parking should be even more convenient, considering mobile phone payments and contactless cards are already being used in retail .

Executive Lan Ruijian, 36, said: “It would be convenient as I don’t have to keep on topping up my cashcard.”

However he noted that the QR code system should be as hassle-free as the usual practice whereby motorists simply drive through gantry and the parking fees are automatically deducted.

“If QR code payment is not as simple as that, I might not use it. In fact, I don’t want to even have to roll down my window to scan the code,” he added.

Corporate communications manager Low Chiew Leng, 34, said: “For QR code, I still have to open the e-wallet, make sure I have enough money in the wallet, then scan the code.

“Why can’t there be an option that allows me to use my Visa PayWave credit card, or Android Pay, and I can just tap and go? Is there really a need for that extra step to scan a code?”