Jul 20, 2010

An Octopus tale..

Thanks to Paul, Octopus-es (or is it Octopussy/Octopii?) are quite popular these days. But we are not talking about the 8 legged variety but the plastic ones. The card used by people in Hongkong to ride on MRT, buses and do many other things..

Well Singapore has one too, but this is one area where there is something to learn from the other uber-efficient city state in East Asia. Unlike the Singapore card aka Ezlink card, which can be used only in a few places, like trains and buses, the Octopus card of HK has as many uses as Paul has legs, and more. I even paid for entry fee to an IT show using the card (IT shows are free in Singapore, unfortunately, as anyone squeezed to juice there can testify).

And unlike Paul and the HK Octopus, the Ezlink card has competitors which means further fragmentation of an already small market and reduced acceptance.

You can also top-up the Octopus card anywhere, including convenience stores for no fee. I had to pay $0.50 surcharge to top-up mine in a Singapore 7-11. Outrageous...perhaps not but only reduces card usage and makes people stand in queue at railway stations when there are so many other places they could get it done..

Time to rethink the top-up fee? Wonder what Paul has to say about that!

No comments: