NETS Enables Over 500 Singaporean Hawkers to Accept Cashless Payments

NETS Enables Over 500 Singaporean Hawkers to Accept Cashless Payments

by July 2, 2019

22 coffee shops, 10 hawker centers and 12 industrial canteens have adopted a unified digital payment solution provided by NETS, Enterprise Singapore said on June 29.

The solution combines in one point-of-sales terminal and a single SGQR label a total of 23 payment schemes across transport cards, mobile payment applications and credit cards.

Supported services include Alipay, American Express, DBS PayLah!, EZ-Link, GrabPay, LifeUp Pay, Liquid Pay, Mastercard, NETS Pay, OCBC Pay Anyone, SC Mobile by Standard Chartered Bank, Singtel Dash, UnionPay, Visa and WeChat Pay.

Image: E-Pay, EnterpriseSG, Facebook

The roll out has enabled over 500 food stalls to accept digital payments.

Lim Kian Tiong, owner of Ho-Bee Roasted Food at Block 628, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, has been using the system since December and told the Strait Times he has found the solution convenient as it helps to consolidate a lot of the payments.

“At the end of the day, I can just check the app on my phone to see how much I’ve earned rather than taking the time to count money,” he said.

The terminals are rented to hawkers for no charge for the first three years after they sign up with Nets. Transactions fees of 0.5% are borne by the government during that period.

Enterprise Singapore, together with the Housing and Development Board (HDB), National Environment Agency (NEA) and JTC Corporation (JTC), appointed Nets in September 2018 to on-board small food establishments to the unified digital payment initiative. These businesses operate at the premises of HDB, NEA and JTC.

Ted Tan, deputy CEO of Enterprise Singapore, said that adoption of digital payments was “a first step towards the digital transformation of small food businesses,” adding that the availability of e-payment is meant to complement cash transactions.

A pilot of the solution was deployed between December 2018 and the end of May 2019. In that timeframe, the total value of digital transactions per stall grew at an average of 40% monthly, with the number of transactions increasing by nearly 30% per month. Each digital transaction had an average value of around S$6.

“In the last six months, we have seen more consumers using e-payment for their transactions,” Tan said.

“This is indeed encouraging and we are expanding it to include schemes that weren’t part of the earlier announcement, like Diners Club and Razer Pay, by this October. With this initiative, consumers will now be able to e-pay more conveniently and securely.”

The public-private initiative aims to encourage merchants and consumers to adopt technology, notably in the area of payments, and is part of Singapore’s broader Smart Nation push which seeks to harness infocomm technologies, networks and big data to empower citizens.

Hawkers represent a considerable market for digital payments. According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), about 40% of dining in Singapore take place at coffee shops, hawker centers or canteens with 70% of transactions done using cash.

By September 2020, Enterprise Singapore and Nets hopes to enroll 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centers and 20 industrial canteens.


Featured image: E-Pay, EnterpriseSG, Facebook.