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Singapore government invests in kick starting contactless and NFC

Merchants in Singapore are being encouraged to make the switch to contactless card accepting terminals through a series of subsidies made possible by a S$16 million (US$11.5m) grant from the Singapore government.

The aim is to quadruple the installed base of contactless POS terminals by 2011, from the current 5,000 to almost 24,000. When fully deployed, the terminals are expected to generate over 94 million transactions a year.

The grant is being made via the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) as part of its Next Generation e-Payments Programme, which includes plans to introduce a national Trusted Third Party that would enable the rollout of NFC services in Singapore (see our earlier article Singapore to get national trusted third party for NFC for details) and to widen acceptance of the new Cepas contactless electronic purse.

With the new subsidy, merchants that convert their POS terminals to accept contactless will have the usual terminal rental fee waived for at least one year and will receive a reduction of up to 50% on their transaction fees.

“This collaboration with the industry will install a network of future-proof contactless POS terminals, paving the way for Singapore to capture opportunities associated with NFC-enabled mobile payments in future,” says IDA.

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