The Shuttle Tebrau is a very popular train service for Malaysians and Singaporeans alike to cross the Johor-Singapore Causeway at Woodlands to get to JB, and millions of people of all nationalities have used this service since its launch on 1 July 2015.
However, as of today, 1 October 2019, with the launch of the new independent Shuttle Tebrau ticketing system which only accepts payment via Malaysian internet banking, it seems that the Shuttle Tebrau is mainly reserved for Malaysians only, as Malaysian internet banking is the only mode of payment to purchase Shuttle Tebrau tickets online for departures from 7 October 2019 onwards.
UPDATE (10 October 2019): KTM Berhad has finally woken up to provide an internationally-acceptable mode of payments by credit and debit cards for the new KTM Shuttle Tebrau ticketing system, 9 days after its launch!
Singaporeans and other nationalities cannot purchase Shuttle Tebrau tickets online without a personal Malaysian internet banking account – unless they have a Malaysian internet banking account and/or Malaysian debit card (UPDATE: Despite the website claiming so, Malaysian debit card payment is actually also not available). UPDATE 1 (2 October 2019): KTM Berhad has posted a comment saying that this Malaysian internet banking procedure is only for yesterday (1 October 2019) and today (2 October 2019). RailTravel Station will check the new Shuttle Tebrau ticketing system again tomorrow to see if more payment modes are accepted, or will it be as KTM says “from time to time” which in KTM’s case in the Klang Valley is every 3 to 6 months. UPDATE 2 (2 October 2019): The new KTM Berhad Shuttle Tebrau ticketing system uses iPay88 as the sole payment gateway. A quick check on iPay88’s website shows that they support many types of payment including credit cards, PayPal and even Alipay. As such, by inferring from their website, I don’t think it is the payment gateway that is restricting the payment options, but rather, the choice of the customer of iPay88 to restrict payment modes to only Malaysian internet banking accounts. UPDATE 3 (3 October 2019 8.30am): The new KTM Berhad Shuttle Tebrau ticketing system now has a new placeholder for credit cards. However, it is currently not usable (as compared to KTM’s claim in the above Update 1) and only labelled as “coming soon”. UPDATE 4 (3 October 2019 8.30pm): KTM Berhad’s website now confirms that only internet banking is accepted in the new KTM Berhad Shuttle Tebrau ticketing system, and credit card payment will only be readied in the near future. To all those who say that I am fake news and credit card payment will be available today, I know KTM better and the only words that they use nowadays are “dalam masa yang terdekat” and “dari masa ke masa”, so trust me. This might be the most modern case in the world of restricting immigration across a land border crossing without directly affecting immigration policies. Being a cross-border international train service, it is very strange that KTM Berhad does not allow payments to be made for the Shuttle Tebrau from any other modes of internationally-recognised and internationally-acceptable mode of payment such as credit card or PayPal, but only accepts Malaysian internet banking to buy cross-border international train tickets. The only other alternative now is to purchase Shuttle Tebrau on the spot at either JB Sentral Railway Station in Malaysia or Woodlands Train Checkpoint in Singapore, but we all know how fast Shuttle Tebrau tickets will sell out 30 days before departure at 8.30am, making an on-the-spot purchase pretty much impossible. Oh, in fact, Shuttle Tebrau tickets are not available for sale at any other KTM station in Peninsular Malaysia as well. I’m not sure why KTM Berhad is doing this, but it seems that with every “improvement” that KTM makes nowadays, it is a step back for progress of their railway. Let’s see if KTM Berhad will do a prata flip on this decision to restrict payment methods for the Shuttle Tebrau to Malaysian internet banking only.
[PSA] If you are in the long queue at JB Sentral or Woodlands CIQ and want to buy or failed to get your Shuttle Tebrau ticket, or are in any other KTM Intercity or ETS station but you can’t buy your Shuttle Tebrau ticket there any more, DO NOT SCOLD THE KTM COUNTER STAFF.
They’re just doing their job to sell you tickets and did not implement the new system. They probably don’t want to see the whole crowd of you as much as you don’t want to see them to buy your tickets.