Payments go cashless at Geylang Serai Bazaar

The crowds at the Geylang Serai bazaar.
The crowds at the Geylang Serai bazaar. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Visitors to the the ongoing Geylang Serai Bazaar will no longer need to go through the hassle of rummaging in their pockets for cash when they pay for food at some stalls.

Six vendors at the festive bazaar, held in conjunction with the month of Ramadan, now offer the option of cashless payments through the EZi Wallet app. This is the first time that payments have gone cashless at pasar malams. Visitors can use the app for payments from Thursday (Jun 15) to June 24, when the bazaar closes.

A customer first has to download the app, and top it up with credit. EZi Wallet will be setting up a booth at the bazaar, where top-ups can be done, and e-NETS top-up options will be rolled out soon. Making payment simply involves scanning a QR code at the stall with the app, keying in the amount that the customer wishes to pay, and showing the merchant that payment has been made on the mobile phone.

The merchant can check the amount that has been paid through a notification on his phone.

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The stalls that accept mobile payments are located along the stretch of the bazaar near Engku Aman Road. They are The Kopi Kia, Stop N Go, which sells fries and drinks, Boom Briyani, Potato Run, Poppin Soda, and JC Creative Food, which sells durian puffs. The EZi Wallet booth will also be located near the stalls.

Ms Zelyn Thng, 24, who co-owns The Kopi Kia, said that such a cashless option can help stall-owners save time.

"Sometimes people show up early in the day with big notes, and if we don't have change, we have to go from stall to stall asking for change, which can be troublesome,"she said.

She noted that older folks might not be as open to using the app than younger ones, but thinks that stepping up awareness can lead to more widespread adoption among all age groups in the future.

"We're trying to get the word out through social media and perhaps physical signs. Once the young people get used to the app, it'll be easier for them to convince their older family members to use it as well."

But 18-year-old Muhammad Nor Hylal, who works at pancake stall Apam Balik Power at the bazaar, is not keen on adopting such a system. "There may be technical issues and it may not be helpful if only a handful of people know how to use it."

Those who download the app from around noon on Thursday (June 15) onwards will receive a $5 cash voucher, which will be credited to their accounts. The promotion will be limited to the first 1,000 users.

EZi Wallet, which launched in May, hopes to sign 2,000 merchants up for its mobile payment network by the end of this year.It will have 400 merchants on board by July, including food court stallholders.