Singapore

More hawkers seek to go cashless

When Mr Goy Thuan Heng introduced cashless payments at his soya bean stall in West Coast Hawker Centre five years ago, it was more trouble than it was worth at first.

"No one used the cashless system for most days in the first one to two years, at most there were one to three customers," said the 57-year-old in Mandarin yesterday. "I also had to pay a monthly fee of $28 for the device and the payment options were limited."

The tide is slowly turning, with Mr Goy now making around 10 cashless transactions daily with a peak of more than 20 during weekends - about 3 per cent to 5 per cent of his total takings.

He is also using the unified Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) e-payments solution launched in 2018, which lets stallholders receive payments through 19 different providers including PayLah, Dash and GrabPay, and is no longer paying a monthly fee.

The benefit of going cashless is the time saved from counting out change for customers, said Mr Goy, who has plied his trade at the hawker centre for 24 years.

Many of his fellow hawkers are still wary of the technology, he noted.

BONUS

But in recent days, his peers have been coming to him to ask how they can get a cashless system for themselves, spurred by the Government's Hawker Go Digital initiative.

It offers a bonus of up to $300 a month over any five months for hawkers who sign up for SGQR and have at least 20 cashless transactions a month.

Hawkers who have already adopted SGQR like Mr Goy are also eligible for the bonus.

"Big countries like China are already moving ahead so quickly with cashless payments, and this is what we have to do so Singapore can catch up. If we don't adapt now, we will be in trouble later," he said. - THE STRAITS TIMES

Technology