They sell them both at train stations, so what are they?
The EZ-Link card is a multi-purpose contactless smart card used for the payment of public transportation fares in Singapore. It started with a strong focus within public transportation (MRT/LRT, public buses) but also has some exposure in the small payments retail sector - mainly around MRT/LRTs.
|NETS Flashpay card|
NETS Flashpay card is also another multi-purpose contactless with stored value smart card that can be used for a huge variety of quick payments. It can be used on the MRT/LRT, public buses, and at ERP gantries (for road tolls). It also has some coverage in food courts.
Both cards can be used at 7 Eleven convenience stores, supermarkets, on all MRT/LRT, public buses, Comfort; CityCab and SMRT taxis, for ERP and CEPAS-compliant car park charges.
Current market environment
NETS Flashpay is still fairly new and only getting traction in the past 12 months with a rebates promotion to push their cards out. NETS Flashpay also good coverage in food courts and areas outside of public transportation, while EZlink is very strong in the public transportation environments.
There is not too much differences between the two only that I find EZlink well known to most people including cab drivers, which makes it easier to do a fast payment and go. Whereas NETS Flashpay is new, so it takes some time educating a cab driver or shop attendant on what it is.
I personally use EZlink more often, but I did use the NETS Flashpay when it first came out and I tested it for the second half of 2013. They had a good rebates promotion then and seem to be gaining good traction in the market. I see many tourists with the red NETS Flashpay cards and EZlink now also rolling out a rewards program to encourage consumers to stick with them.