Nets QR code to roll out to 120 hawker centres by 2018
Seven banks here to allow customers to use Nets' QR code system
Thanks to e-payment system Nets, paying for your hawker fare using a single QR code could soon be a part of daily life.
And you won't have to worry about which banking app to use or which code to scan.
In a bid to unify cashless payments here, Nets announced yesterday in a joint briefing with DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank, that customers from seven banks here will be able to use Nets' QR code system to pay at hawker stalls.
The banks, which jointly own Nets and which currently have e-wallets that work with the QR code system - will be joined by HSBC, Maybank and Standard Chartered Bank, which will either create their own e-wallets or allow customers to digitise their cards on the NetsPay app.
Citibank, the only non Nets-participating bank, will also be adding a QR function to its app.
DBS is giving merchants at some 1,700 hawker stalls and neighbourhood shops who are currently hooked up on the bank's PayLah! system the option to switch to the Nets QR code if they want it.
The announcement by Nets is significant as the seven banks together account for more than 90 per cent of retail transactions here.
Currently, more than 600 stalls across 20 hawker centres, including in Beo Crescent, Tanjong Pagar and Zion Road, accept the QR code, and Nets is aiming to have onboard all 120 hawker centres in Singapore by the end of next year.
Ms Tan Su Shan, chairman of Nets board and group head of consumer banking and wealth management at DBS, said: "With this, we've pretty much covered every retail account in Singapore. That's the key here, it's ubiquity. If you are a hawker, you want to make sure anyone from any bank can pay for their noodles."
With this, we've pretty much covered every retail account in Singapore. That's the key here, it's ubiquity. Ms Tan Su Shan, chairman of Nets board and group head of consumer banking and wealth management at DBS
To drive adoption, Nets will spend $15 million to waive infrastructure costs and terminal and transaction fees for hawkers for the next three years. Another $15 million will be spent marketing it to customers.
Mr Jeffrey Goh, Nets chief executive, said: "When you approach hawkers, what's the natural behaviour? You still take out cash... We are now encouraging our consumers to change their behaviour, since merchants have already accepted electronic payments as the way to go."
Ms Alison Koh, who accepts the Nets QR code at Uncle Lim's Drinks at Beo Crescent Food Centre, said it is popular among the younger set, and those customers who do not use it simply not don't know how to.
"Some are willing to try, and some are not."
As a hawker, the QR code has made life easier.
"It is faster than cash and you just have to spend a few seconds to make sure the payment is correct. And you don't have to touch any coins," she said.
Singapore has seen a slew of cashless payment offerings, such as GrabPay, Alipay, and FavePay, as the country ramps up its Smart Nation efforts.
Nets launched its own mobile wallet, NetsPay, in October for DBS and POSB customers with ATM cards and has seen more than 33,000 downloads so far.