Sheng Siong eyes tap-and-go card payments to cut queue times at its heartland supermarkets

Sheng Siong is Singapore's third-largest supermarket chain by store number, at 42 outlets islandwide.
Sheng Siong is Singapore's third-largest supermarket chain by store number, at 42 outlets islandwide.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Local supermarket group Sheng Siong launched a rebate credit card on Friday (July 21) morning, in a bid to boost labour productivity and cut queue times with tap-and-go cashless payments.

The Bank of China Sheng Siong Card comes with cash rebates of up to 12 per cent, capped at S$90 for Sheng Siong purchases in each billing cycle.

The tie-up with Bank of China Singapore Branch is its second co-branded card collaboration, after the grocery chain partnered Diners Club in 2009.

Bank of China Singapore Branch said that groceries made up one-tenth its overall card spend in 2016. Mr Anson Lim, head of the bank's card centre, said it aims to sign up 100,000 card holders over the next two years.

Sheng Siong Group chief executive Lim Hock Chee said in a statement that the card, which comes with Visa payWave contactless payment technology, will "serve to drive more cashless transactions, lowering the operational costs of cash management and increasing our business productivity with more efficient payment processes".

He told reporters that about one-half of payments at Sheng Siong outlets are still made with cash, but he hopes that the latest move will spur cashless payments among the brand's heartland customer base.

Visa's Singapore and Brunei country manager, Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, said that her company has seen "strong growth" in Bank of China Singapore Branch's portfolio over the past year.

"The new co-branded card will enable us to grow our card holder base and accelerate the use of contactless payments in Singapore," she said.

At present, one in five Visa transactions takes place in supermarkets, with year-on-year growth of more than 20 per cent.

Sheng Siong is Singapore's third-largest supermarket chain by store number, at 42 outlets islandwide, behind NTUC FairPrice and Cold Storage.