27 June 2006 - Opening Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore At the CEPAS Launch & Next Generation e-Payment Seminar, Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Opening Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore At the CEPAS Launch & Next Generation e-Payment Seminar on 27 June 2006, Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

It is my pleasure to be here this afternoon to open the SS 518 CEPAS Launch & Next Generation e-Payment Seminar.

Importance of Electronic Payment in Singapore

This year marks a significant milestone in our nation's infocomm history. It has been a quarter century since Singapore embarked on an ambitious national computerisation effort in 1981. We've come a long way in these past 25 years.

Infocomm has enabled much change, making our lives better and more convenient. From logistics and banking, to transport and education - every sector has evolved dynamically, spurred on by infocomm technologies.

Needless to say, the way we do business has also been revolutionised by infocomm - especially in the payment landscape.

Many of us here can probably remember the old days, when the abacus was the towkay's best friend. And the mechanical calculator with the wind-up handle was considered a remarkable invention at that time.

Well, things are very different now. We have moved from paper and cash, to a payments landscape comprising a diverse range of cashless payments systems and instruments.

The use of credit cards, debit cards, cash cards and stored value cards have grown rapidly, revolutionising the electronic payments landscape. And have become indispensable for many of us.

Singapore has been successful in exploiting technology to power new and advanced payment solutions over the last quarter century. Today, Singapore is recognised as an advanced user of e-payment solutions.

For example, in the area of online commerce, we are ranked on par with countries like Japan and Korea in the 2006 EIU e-readiness report. This reflects a growing infocomm-savvy population, eager to embrace technology, and where e-commerce is a part of everyday life.

Last week, the iN2015 infocomm masterplan was launched, setting the stage for Singapore's infocomm journey for the next 10 years. One critical component of this masterplan is our vision for the nation's next-generation e-Payment landscape.

One of the goals we hope to achieve in this vision is to reduce the number of paper-based transactions, and double the transaction value of card-based payments, e-money schemes and mobile payments from S$25 billion, to S$50 billion by 2010.

Why we aim to do it is simple. It's all about economic competitiveness, enabling our nation's business processes to transcend to a new level of efficiency and seamlessness.

For instance, pervasive adoption of e-payments can reduce the costs of handling transactions and increase the overall efficiency of our businesses. For consumers, e-payments provide convenience and saves time.

A recent study by VISA showed that every 10-percent increase in the share of e-payments in the economy can stimulate GDP growth by as much as 0.5-percent.

In addition, e-payment instruments can facilitate new markets and exciting technologies such as mobile digital content. It will also create potential for exportable payment and other services to the region.

An Interoperable platform for all - CEPAS

So how does CEPAS, the Singapore Standard for Contactless e-Purse Application, fit into all of this? -- Very tightly.

IDA has always collaborated closely with industry. CEPAS is one such example of public-private collaboration in the e-Payments landscape, to harness technology to provide greater convenience and security for all.

IDA sees CEPAS as an important socio-economic enabler, which can help fuel new forms of commerce by integrating various e-payment processes. CEPAS results in a "win-win-win" for consumers, merchants, as well as card issuers. It gives all parties a much bigger common playing field in the e-payments landscape.

The launching of CEPAS today is a significant step closer to giving consumers the convenience of having a single card for making transit, motoring and retail payments instead of having multiple cards for different purposes. When fully adopted, consumers will be able to use one card seamlessly and safely in various payment scenarios. It also allows more card issuers to participate in this micro-payment space.

The CEPAS standard provides an interoperable platform that our two largest multi-purpose stored value card issuers, NETS and EZ-Link, can migrate to. I am happy to announce that both NETS and EZ-Link are committed to this vision and have worked closely with us to make this vision a reality. We also appreciate the strong support given by the LTA for CEPAS.

Moving forward, IDA and our partners will continue to work together to provide consumers new and innovative e-payment solutions.

Singapore will continue to invest in payments innovation, while at the same time ensure seamless interoperability among various payment platforms and minimize market fragmentation.

Thank you and have a fruitful seminar ahead.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023