Singapore

SPH Buzz store launches first cashless vending machines

Long queues and loose change will no longer be a hassle for customers, with 16 cashless vending machines at a newly opened SPH Buzz convenience store.

Officially launched yesterday, the store - a collaboration between SPH Buzz and Mastercard - is located at the Cynergy Gas Station in Old Toh Tuck Road in Jurong.

It has a manned cafe and self-serviced vending machines.

These are the first vending machines in Singapore to have QR code scanners for payment through a smartphone app, said Mr Raymond Yap, managing director of equipment manufacturer Auresys.

Other vending machines use card readers, which require the presence of a credit card, said Mr Yap.

Mastercard's executive vice-president of market development, Mr Chang Yunsok, said the move is part of the push to a cashless society.

Transactions will be safer, and more secure and convenient, said Mr Chang. "Customers don't even need to carry around their cash any more," he added.

Customers can download the "Vending powered by Masterpass" app to scan a QR code on the machines, select their items, and pay for them from their smartphones.

The mobile app is currently available for Android devices, with iOS devices soon to follow.

Customers can choose from an array of vending machine items: snacks, drinks, instant meals, beauty products, over-the-counter medicine, phone accessories and small gifts.

Prices range from $1.20 for a canned drink to $248 for a Fitbit activity tracker.

Technology