Cirrus, Maestro, NETS, PLUS, CEPAS, EZ-Link, TransitLink: What These Icons On The Back Of the Cards Mean

 Cirrus, Maestro, NETS, PLUS, CEPAS, EZ-Link, TransitLink: What These Icons On The Back Of the Cards Mean

Most of us probably carry multiple cards in our wallets to make payments, but we may not be completely aware of the full capabilities of what all these cards can perform.

In addition to their primary function of being a charge card, debit card, ATM card, or a stored value card for transportation, our cards had the ability to have other useful and interesting functions, as denoted through the icons on the back of them.

Here are some of the common icons you may find at the back of your cards, along with what they mean.

#1 Cirrus

The shape of the Cirrus logo looks vaguely familiar, that is expected, because the Cirrus global ATM network is really a subsidiary of Mastercard.

Where You Can Use It:

  • ATMs (local and overseas) using the Cirrus logo

What What this means is For You:

If your Mastercard debit / credit card has this logo you can make cash withdrawals by entering your card and pin at any Cirrus ATMs.

Withdrawals made with a credit card are, however, regarded as payday loans – – a form of short-term loan. Doing so poses a few disadvantages for you. Payday loans include hefty fees, withdrawal limits and an immediate accrual of great interest.

You may want to think twice about making use of your credit card for cash withdrawals with an overseas ATM, if you aren't desperately in urgent necessity of cash and are fully aware of the expense involved.

#2 Maestro

Maestro is Mastercard's make of debit cards. You can use Maestro debit cards to make ATM withdrawals and purchases internationally.

Fun fact – – the logos for Mastercard, Cirrus and Maestro are variations of two similarly intersecting circles simply because they portray how each brand functions being an interbank network.

Where You Can Use It:

  • ATMs (local and overseas) with the Maestro logo
  • Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals using the Maestro logo

What This Means For You: If your debit card has the Maestro logo, you can enter your card and pin at compatible ATMs for money withdrawals. You can also make transactions at Maestro merchants by entering your pin at compatible POS terminals.


The Visa card network has an ATM-based subsidiary known as the Plus system. This links all Visa products to any Plus systems globally. The competitor from the Plus system is the Cirrus network.

Where Technology-not only:

  • ATMs (local and overseas) using the Plus or Visa logo

What What this means is For You: If your debit, credit or ATM Visa card has got the Plus or Visa logo, you can withdraw cash whatsoever ATMs bearing the Plus logo simply by entering your card and pin. Similar to the Cirrus network, you should be aware that using your Plus charge card to make a cash withdrawal in a Plus ATM is recognized as a money advance which may incur extra charges.

Additionally, the Visa network links products from different banking institutions. This might imply that you withdraw cash from an ATM that's within different financial institution in the one that issued your card.

If you withdraw cash from an ATM within different bank (from the one that issued your credit card), you may even incur extra interbank fees along with overseas withdrawal charges.


NETS is really a local electronic payment company setup with a number of banks to determine the debit network in Singapore. It is owned by DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, and United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The NETS (Network for Electronic Transfers) logo appears on cards which are suitable for a NETS terminal – – a cashless payment option through a local debit network. The NETS logo using the WIFI-looking symbol represents the same service, with added contactless payment functionality.

Where Technology-not only:

  • NETS terminals

What This Means For You: You could make debit transactions simply by entering your NETS card right into a NETS terminal with your pin. For NETS contactless cards, you need to simply wave your card into the terminals of merchants with this decal. You don't have to enter your pin for transactions below $100. There are also no added charges for paying through NETS.

Read also: Beginner's Help guide to Cashless Payment Platforms In Singapore

#5 NETS Flashpay

NETS FlashPay cards really are a contactless, multipurpose stored value card that can be used for your transport needs. This differs from NETS as you don't need to enter your pin in order to process each transaction. Additionally, the funds for every transaction aren't debitted from your bank account, but from the stored value wallet in your card.

It may also be used for shopping and retail micro payments. You need to activate your wallet at General Ticketing Machines at MRT stations. Afterwhich, auto top-ups or top-ups via an app are possible.

There are standalone NETS FlashPay cards, but cards with the logo implies that NETS FlashPay wallet functionality can be unlocked. Which means that credit cards with this logo can function both like a charge card along with a stored value NETS FlashPay card.

Where You Can Use It:

  • Transit (MRT / Buses)
  • ERP gantries
  • EPS (CEPAS-compliant) car park exits

What What this means is For You: Wave your NETS FlashPay card at any of these compatible merchants to make payment, as long as you have sufficient stored value in your card. For ERP gantries and EPS, payment is deducted automatically through your In-vehicle Units (IU).


The CEPAS logo on the back of the charge card implies that your card is compliant for use like a CEPAS electronic smart money card. CEPAS means “Contactless E-purse Application”.

CEPAS is really a network that standardises the interoperability of multi-purpose stored value card payment schemes from different card issuers and system operators. Types of CEPAS-compatible cards include NETS cards, NETS FlashPay cards and EZ-Link cards.

Where You Can Use It:

  • Transit (MRT / Buses)
  • ERP gantries
  • EPS (CEPAS-compliant) carpark exits

What This Means For You: Tap your card for transport use, or insert it to your IUs for ERP and EPS charges. Because it is a stored value card, ensure that you have enough funds inside or the transaction won't undergo.

#7 EZ-Link

Cards using the EZ-link logo are another kind of contactless, store value card. Interestingly, they were the first contactless, stored value card enabled for transport use.

Over the years, EZ-Link cards are becoming accepted at an increasing number of merchants. They're also compliant using the new dual-mode IUs, meaning they are appropriate for ERP and EPS payments.

Like NETS FlashPay cards, EZ-Link cards can be standalone cards. However, your cards can also be enabled for EZ-Link's stored value and contactless payment functionality if it has the EZ-Link logo.

Where You Can Use It:

  • Transit (MRT/ buses)
  • ERP gantries
  • EPS (CEPAS-compliant) carpark exits
  • 7-Eleven convenience stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Taxis (Premier, SMRT, Comfort and CityCab taxis)
  • Community clubs
  • Government services
  • Educational institutes
  • Hawker centres, plus some f&b outlets
  • Vending services
  • VEP payments (toll charges)

What This Means For you personally: Transactions are automatically processed and deducted when you wave your card at compatible merchants and terminals.

Read also:EZ-Link App: Complete Guide To All of the Benefits You are able to Enjoy

#8 ERP

Cards using the ERP logo imply that they're compatible with your IUs for payment at ERP gantries, and for EPS payments. It is important to observe that ERP isn't an e-wallet or platform. Like CEPAS, it just indicates that your card is compatible with ERP. The stored value purpose of your card is really a separate feature.

Where You Can Use It:

  • ERP gantries
  • EPS carpark exits

What What this means is For You: Insert your card to your IU and ERP fees as well as carpark payments are automatically deducted, if there is sufficient stored value in your card.

#9 TransitLink

The Transitlink logo means that the credit card may be used at any Transitlink ticket offices or related facilities, for example General Ticketing Machines. TransitLink is really a subsidiary from the Land Transport Authority (LTA). They offer transit-related services and distribute 2 types of stored value cards: EZ-Link cards and NETS FlashPay cards.

Where You Can Use It:

  • TransitLink ticket offices
  • General Ticketing Machines

What This Means For You: You can enable features such as EZ-Reload or purchase concession for your card at Transitlink kiosks. Just enter your EZ-Link or NETS FlashPay-enabled card at these kiosks (available at MRT stations) and follow the instructions on screen.

Read also: Best Method to Pay For Your Public Transportation – EZ-Link, EZ-Reload, SimplyGo

#10 High Temp

This logo simply means that the card can withstand high temperatures of at least to 50 to 60 degrees celsius.

This is advantageous in case your card is accidentally subjected to the improved temperatures of the dryer or your car dashboard. Heat exposure can cause your card to bend or warp, which would allow it to be difficult to come in right into a card reader.

In more extreme cases, heat exposure can damage the electronic chip in your card, making it ineffective.

Where You Can Use It:

  • There are no use cases for this

What This Means For you personally: Nothing. Although, this isn't reason to visit putting your cards into the microwave being an experiment.

#11 WIFI-Looking Logo

Having the WIFI symbol on the card means that your cards are contactless and don't need to be swiped or dipped right into a point-of-sale machine.

Where You Can Use It:

  • Any merchant or POS terminal that accept contactless payments

What This Means For you personally: Just tap your card at the contactless terminal for payments to become processed.

Cards Continue To Evolve And become Enhanced Over Time

Interestingly, many of these logos have grown to have overlapping functions as payment systems develop and cashless payments be prevalent, or belong to streamlined standardisations for example CEPAS.

For instance, cards with Transitlink, CEPAS, EZ-link and ERP logos may be used almost interchangeably as EZ-Link, ERP or EPS cards irrespective of their logos.

For debit and credit cards, the interbank functions are almost standardised for every brand. It's almost confirmed that Mastercard cards bear the Cirrus and/or Maestro logo, while Visa cards will usually have the Plus logo.

How a number of these icons can you spot on your cards? And, perhaps you have encountered others that we did not cover? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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