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Findings of Peer Review of Interoperable Smartcard Programs 43 In April 2000, the Hong Monetary Authority authorized OCL as a deposit-taking company. The authorization allows the Octopus card to be used for non-transit payment. Payment at 7-Eleven convenience stores, the first non-transport-related application, was introduced in Octo- ber 2000. The Octopus card can now be used for payment at fast food restaurants, supermarkets, self-service kiosks and vending machines, conferences and exhibitions, recreational facilities, schools, theaters, and telephones, and for access control. The equipment used in the Octopus system includes Multipurpose octopus processor (MOP); MiniMOP; Parking access and payment system; The Octopus central computer; Faregates; POS devices; and A central clearing center. 3.1.10.1 Fare Policies The following fare policies and customer features define the Octopus program: Card Fee--HK$50 deposit, HK$7 card-refund handling fee, HK$20 bank switching fee; Fare Products--Multiple transit products including e-cash, passes and transit ride products (electronic ticket-books), inter-operator transfers; Fare Categories--Adult, children, senior, and student; and Other Features--Balance protection, autoload, and negative balance. Alternatives such as Nokia phone covers, watches, and key chains are available in place of the standard card media. 3.1.10.2 Transit Benefits Programs None are available. 3.1.10.3 Loyalty Programs In 2002, Octopus launched loyalty programs in connection with retail applications. Discounts with retail participants and transit operators vary widely. 3.1.11 EZ-Link Following on the heels of Hong Kong's Octopus card, EZ-Link is Singapore's smart-card-based transit and non-transit payment system. The EZ-Link card is a contactless smartcard that supports stored value and ticket products, including period passes. Visitor EZ-Link cards are available and provide access to tourist attractions in addition to supporting public transit payment. The EZ-Link card is accepted on all mass rapid transit (MRT), light rail transit (LRT), and buses, as well as at non- transit participants, such as movie theaters, schools, libraries, and bowling centers. There are more than 5 million cards in circulation today with more than 4 million daily financial transactions. EZ-Link Pte. Ltd. (EZL), a subsidiary of the Land Transport Authority [Land and Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA)], was formed in January 2002 and is responsible for selling, dis- tributing, and managing EZ-Link cards as well as clearing and settling the card transactions gen- erated in transit and non-transit applications. EZL appointed Transit Link Pte. Ltd. as the agent to manage the day-to-day use of EZ-Link cards on public transportation. Transit Link is a consortium composed of SBS Transit Ltd., Sin- gapore MRT Ltd. (SMRT), and Trans-Island Bus Services, Ltd. (Tibs). Transit Link sells and dis- tributes EZ-Link cards, as well as provides customer service to cardholders.