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New ERP payment scheme to be launched

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When you pass an electronic road pricing (ERP) gantry without adequate funds in your Cashcard, or without a Cashcard itself, you may be charged between S$8 to S$10 in administrative fees when you are issued a violation notice.

Now, however, those days of feeling anxious about not having enough funds in your cashcard may soon be a thing of the past – if a soon-to-be announced scheme b NETS and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is anything to go by.

To be announced on Thursday, the scheme, called vCashCard, will allow motorists to pay their erp charges even when they do not have enough funds or a cashcard in their in-vehicle units.

This is how it works:

Motorists will have to first go online and register an account at http://vcashcard.nets.com.sg .

The person’s account is then topped up with S$50 from his credit or debit card or bank account.

This becomes like a virtual wallet for the person.

Whenever the motorist passes by a gantry without sufficient funds or a cashcard, the charges will be deducted from his account with vCashCard instead.

If you have a card with enough funds in your vehicle, the usual deductions will occur.

“When funds in the vCashCard fall below $10, the virtual wallet will automatically be topped up with $50 from one of your accounts linked to the wallet,” the Straits Times reported on Tuesday.

“It’s worry-free, there’s no monthly maintenance fee except for a top-up fee from time to time when you run out of cash,” Mr Jeffrey Goh, chief executive of Nets, told the newspaper.

He added that the scheme will "bring convenience to motorists".

While subscription to the vCashCard is free, each top-up will cost 50 cents.

However, this will be waived for the first year for those who sign up with a United Overseas bank card or an Internet banking account.

Nets said it is “open to working with other banks for this promotion”, the Straits Times reported.

More details of the scheme is expected on Thursday.

In the meantime, Nets is also reported to be working on a similar application for the second phase of the service, which is believed to involve electronic parking system carparks.