Public Transport Users Hail Anthony Loke For Latest Touch ‘n Go Related Announcement
Anthony Loke said commuters will soon have more payment options available for their convenience.
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Transport Minister Anthony Loke made an announcement yesterday that delighted public transport users.
In a move seen as breaking the Touch ‘n Go monopoly, Loke said commuters will soon have more payment options available for their convenience.
Speaking after launching the Grand Opening of Plaza Premium First and Plaza Premium Lounge at KLIA Terminal 1, Sepang, Loke said in addition to the current Touch ‘n Go card, people will be able to use their credit or debit card to pay their fares.
The minister has instructed transportation agencies and operators such as Prasarana Malaysia Berhad and KTM Berhad to adopt the open payment system.
The decision came after the ministry received numerous complaints from the public about the limited options available for payment.
Presently, commuters are limited to Touch ‘n Go cards or purchasing a token at the LRT gantry entrance.
The lack of flexibility with payment options was deemed inconvenient for many, leading the transport minister to take action.
Although the system’s implementation is expected to take some time as transportation operators need to integrate it, Loke said that the ministry has already taken steps towards making it happen.
This change is expected to significantly benefit the many commuters who rely on public transportation daily.
Currently, Rapid KL has been piloting several other contactless payment methods. At selected LRT stations, NFC card readers have been installed to enable passengers to tap in and out using their credit or debit cards, or smartphone-integrated options such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
Public transportation services must equip themselves with stable internet connections to enable the authentication of credit and debit card payments through the use of card terminals.
These terminals function by verifying the payment and completing the transaction. The Touch ‘n Go card, however, operates differently as it is a smartcard with stored value. The card terminal deducts the fare instantly from the card balance without requiring the authentication process from an internet connection.
Currently, only the KLIA Express and KLIA Transit ERL in the Klang Valley support contactless card payments, along with tickets and barcode scanners.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said during a session with youths last weekend that the government is reviewing Touch ‘n Go’s monopoly on highway tolls and public transportation payment systems.
When questioned regarding the likelihood of Touch ‘n Go’s monopoly being dismantled because of the increasing number of establishments accepting debit card payments, he disclosed that the government is reconsidering this control over the public transportation sector.
Touch ‘n Go, a Malaysian contactless smart card payment system allows users to pay for tolls, parking, and transportation fares with a single card.
The system was introduced in 1997 and quickly gained popularity, and Singapore was the first foreign market to adopt the payment method in 2017.
However, with numerous payment options, such as debit cards, e-wallets, and mobile banking currently available in Malaysia, there is a growing demand from the public for more payment options for public transport.
The move by the prime minister to review Touch ‘n Go’s monopoly comes as significant progress in Malaysia’s efforts to reduce its dependence on monopolies and promote competition in key sectors. This shift could also improve transparency, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in the transportation industry by introducing more options to the consumers.
Currently, the matter is still under review by the government, and there is no official statement on when and how this change will be implemented.
However, the public has given positive feedback on the government’s stand to reduce monopolies, and many eagerly anticipate further developments in this area.
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