SINGAPORE - Pay with cash at any NTUC FairPrice and Cheers outlet in the future and you will be putting your money into a machine instead of handing it to a cashier.
The supermarket and convenient store chain, with 290 outlets in Singapore across various formats, has started rolling out a new cash-payment system .
The new iCash system has been deployed at two FairPrice outlets, one in Punggol Walk and the other in Bukit Batok West, as well as at five Cheers outlets to date.
It will be rolled out to 11 more Cheers and FairPrice stores by the end of the year, and subsequently to all outlets.
Cashiers and retail staff will be around to help customers to use the new machines.
This is how the system works: Instead of handing their money to the cashier, customers put their cash into slots, similar to those on vending machines, at regular manned checkout counters. The machine will then spit out the correct change in both notes and coins.
iCash will be built into current self-checkout kiosks that now only accept payment by card.
The system also allows cashiers to send the day's takings into a backend machine which counts the money, cutting the time spent counting cash by about 35 per cent - about half an hour of time savings for each cashier daily.
The system also provides greater security as cash is moved from the sales floor to the back room in secured cassettes that deter potential theft. The system also leaves less room for human error.
NTUC FairPrice's deputy chief executive of operations, Mr Gerry Lee, said: "The iCash system is a crucial investment in our efforts to increase efficiency and optimise manpower resources so that customers enjoy smoother checkouts with accurate payment handling and better service."