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Selected coffee shops, hawker centres to accept 10 e-payment schemes by end-2018

SINGAPORE — By the end of this year, consumers will be able to pay for their food or drinks with credit cards, ez-link, Nets FlashPay, or even GrabPay at coffee shops, hawker centres or industrial canteens.

Some 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centres and 20 industrial canteens run by the Housing and Development Board, National Environment Agency and JTC Corporation will be able to offer customers up to 20 e-payment methods by August 2020.

Some 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centres and 20 industrial canteens run by the Housing and Development Board, National Environment Agency and JTC Corporation will be able to offer customers up to 20 e-payment methods by August 2020.

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SINGAPORE — By the end of this year, consumers will be able to pay for their food or drinks with credit cards, ez-link, Nets FlashPay, or even GrabPay at coffee shops, hawker centres or industrial canteens.

And by August 2020, some 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centres and 20 industrial canteens run by the Housing and Development Board, National Environment Agency and JTC Corporation will be able to offer customers up to 20 e-payment methods.

In a press release on Wednesday (Sept 12), government agency Enterprise Singapore announced that electronic payment service provider Nets has been appointed to handle e-payment transactions across the multiple payment schemes for these merchants. However, it was unable to say where these businesses are located.

The various payment modes will be rolled out progressively in two phases, with the first batch of 10 e-payment schemes — such as the more commonly used credit cards, ez-link, Nets FlashPay, WeChatPay and UnionPay — going live by the end of this year.

By August next year, another 10 e-payment modes, including GrabPay, Alipay, Singtel Dash and Qixiang Technology, will be accepted.

Merchants will be given a single terminal for card payments and an SG QR (or Quick Response) code to accept and process transactions from the 20 e-payment schemes.

Nets’ appointment on Wednesday came following a call for collaboration in April this year “for a commercially viable, inter-operable and open access e-payment solution”, Enterprise Singapore said.

CONSUMERS WILL BENEFIT FROM:

  • Having a wide variety of payment methods to choose from once the e-payments system is rolled out.

  • Having a convenient and fuss-free time making payment through the unified terminal and QR code.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR MERCHANTS:

  • They will have a single system that will accept multiple forms of cashless payments.

  • Businesses which sign up with Nets by August 2020 do not need to pay any transaction fee for three years as the Government is providing funding support.

  • Nets will charge businesses a fee of 0.5 per cent for the service, which it said is below the average industry rate of 2 to 5 per cent.

  • Payment via American Express, Mastercard or Visa will be credited into the merchant’s bank account within two days after close of business; all other transactions will be credited within one day after close of business for transactions made before 11pm.

  • They have the option of integrating their e-payment terminals with their point-of-sales system, where applicable, to better measure sales performance and consumer purchase behaviour.

BACKGROUND

The unified e-payment method comes as Singapore moves to go cashless. However, a survey last year by electronic payment provider PayPal showed that cash and credit cards remain the preferred payment modes among Singaporeans, and about two-thirds of the respondents said that more payment options meant more confusion.

This latest initiative by Nets come on the back of its partnership with Chinese financial services corporation UnionPay, which was announced on Tuesday. The NetsPay mobile application is now accepted at more than 7.5 million UnionPay QR code merchants and close to 12 million UnionPay QuickPass contactless points worldwide.

Earlier in March, telecommunications firm Singtel announced its intentions to connect its Dash mobile wallet with its regional affiliates, starting with Thai mobile operator AIS from the middle of this year. The plan will link more than 50 million registered e-wallet users with more than a million merchant points across Asia.

Singtel also teamed up with Singapore gaming firm Razer in May to create what it hopes will become the largest e-payment network in the region.

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