Network for Electronic Transfers or more commonly known as NETS; (星网电子付款) 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).
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.
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. 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.
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 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).
- Main article: RuPay
On May 31, 2018, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi launched the RuPay platform in Singapore. The launch took place in parallel with related services offered by NPCI, such as, UPI and BHIM. State Bank of India. NETS digital payment system was linked up with RuPay, allowing NETS card holder to make online purchases on e-commerce merchants that accept RuPay as well as use the 2.8 million RuPay point-of-sale terminals in India. Holders of NETS would also be able to withdraw cash at any ATM in India.
NETS introduced the 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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
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 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 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
NETSPay is a digital wallet app. Launched in October 2017, it introduces 2 new payment options, 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. Contactless NETS ATM cards will be launched from the first quarter of 2018.
ATM switching services
NETS provides local and regional ATM switching services for banks. 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
- Monetary Authority of Singapore
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- Cashless shopping. (1985, June 27). Singapore Monitor, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Accessed on June 3, 2018.
- 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.
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