CEPAS, Specification for Contactless e-Purse Application is a significant milestone for Singapore's micro-payment landscape. A key pillar of the national ePayment infrastructure, outlined in IMDA's 10 year infocomm masterplan, Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015), CEPAS is a result of a collaboration spearheaded by IMDA working closely with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the industry to develop a cashless nation-wide e-payment platform. Developed by IMDA with the Cards & Personal Identification Technical Committee (CPTIC) under the Singapore IT Standards Committee (ITSC), Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore Pte Ltd (NETS), and EZ-Link Pte Ltd, CEPAS was gazetted by SPRING Singapore in January 2006 as SS 518.
Available for industry use, CEPAS is a world's first in creating a nationwide interoperable micro-payment platform that bridges multiple sectors - in particular the transit and retail e-payment space.
The technical standards for CEPAS can be purchased on the SPRING Singapore website under “Contactless e-purse application”.
Today, the Singapore market has three widely used Multi-Purpose Stored Value Card (MPSVC) infrastructures: NETS FlashPay card, ez-link card and concession card. The CEPAS standard provides an interoperable platform that all MPSVC issuers will eventually migrate to.
Therefore, the launch of CEPAS is a significant step closer towards 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.
Beyond just convenience to consumers, merchants and public service providers will be able to deploy a single reader for their transaction processing, as opposed to having multiple readers. CEPAS will also level the playing field allowing more card issuers such as banks and financial institutions to participate in this micro-payment space. Hence, CEPAS results in a "win-win-win" for consumers, merchants, as well as card issuers.
LTA contracted IBM to build the core backend infrastructure for LTA's next-generation transit e-payment system - Symphony for e-Payment (e-Symphony). The e-Symphony has already been deployed to incorporate CEPAS and allows the transit infrastructure to support multiple card issuers.
Moving forward, IMDA 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 minimise market fragmentation.