In the world's most expensive city, there is a fascination among Singaporeans for a certain mouthless cat character from Japan. EZ-Link, a local payment company, is taking it to the next level with Hello Kitty phone charms that can be used to make payments.
Called EZ-Charms, these Hello Kitty accessories work like contactless transport cards used in most cities, and can be used to make payments on public transport as well as at select stores. They will only work in Singapore, though there are plans to extend contactless payment services to Taiwan.
Each charm retails for S$24.90 ($18) and comes with no stored value. There are a total of four designs to choose from: pink, red, black and blue. The blue one is not sold individually -- you'll have to buy all four together, or be one of the first 1,000 customers, who can redeem one through the use of loyalty points.
Now, you might think it's a bit much to pay just for an adorable transport card. But Singaporeans have been known to wait in line for hours to purchase Hello Kitty toys, so it's likely these will be quickly snapped up.
The charms do come with a two-year expiry after activation, when you'll either have to get a new charm or switch back to a boring normal card. Hello Kitty fans visiting Singapore on holiday and thinking of getting one should be forewarned these charms will only go on sale from the end of May.