woensdag 5 september 2012

EZ Link and AXS: a balm for the harried soul

The other day I went to pick up a book from the library. I paid the reservation fee with my EZ Link card. An EZ Link card is practically the same as an OV chip card or Oyster card, for those more versed in London public transport: a swipe 'n ride pass for public transport.

Except I can also use it to pay for taxi's.

And for library fees. 

And for the swimming pool.

And ice cream on the way home.

And, apparently, for all things educational and university-related (including, but not limited to, graphic novels and comics).

I don't even have to sign, remember a pin or even to take it out of my wallet - I just swipe. And no Visa-fees or interest rates involved either. When the money's gone, it's gone, no evil credit card company with small print lurking in the shadows. Topping up is almost as effortless, possible at any MRT station or AXS machine. Anybody can buy a card, all it takes is a S$5 dollar deposit - no registration needed either. It's the smoothest, most unbelievably easy way of going about money business I've ever known.

Speaking of AXS machines - those are brilliant too. They look a little like an ATM, except you usually put money in instead of taking it out. But that's all right, since the money might go towards such diverse necessities as the payment of fines (no hassle with cheques or letters or the horror of actual visits to actual government offices), the reservation of BBQ pits at national parks, the topping up of your EZ Link card, hospital bills, electricity bills or the phone bill.

Or, indeed, your credit card bill.

The machines do not keep a timetable, are widely available and accept almost all cards and, I think, cash. They have handy screens with equally handy guides in large print for people like me who prefer to be led step by tiny baby step through official type processes. And if you don't feel like leaving the house, the AXS website will perform most of the services rendered by the machine as well.

It's just so easy to take care of business in Singapore. 

ps. EZ Link - easy link and AXS Machine - Access machine... Geddit?

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