SMETech

Beat the rush hour queue - order via FasTrack

DBS eyes more e-commerce bite with the app, which it developed with Applied Mesh

Consumers who want a quick and fuss-free way to get their food or drink during busy hours might soon be able to do so through their mobile phones.

An app developed by local bank DBS and tech solutions provider Applied Mesh will allow customers to pre-order and pick up food and drinks to go, skipping the regular queue.

DBS is also looking to expand its e-commerce offerings through the app, which will allow users to pay for food and drinks cashlessly.

The app, called FasTrack, lets customers place an advance order with merchants. They can pay via the app with a credit or debit card and head down to a physical store to collect their order once it is ready.

The concept is not new - PayPal did it two years ago with salad chain Salad Stop! and loyalty app Perx, but it has since been discontinued.


Mr Jeremy Soo (left), managing director and head of consumer banking group (Singapore), DBS Bank, and Mr Kenny Loy, founder of Old Tea Hut, displaying the FasTrack app on their mobile phones. PHOTO: DBS BANK SINGAPORE

However, it is the first time a bank is doing this in Singapore.

Mr Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of consumer banking at DBS, said several businesses are looking for online innovations to drive and expand their business.

The bank has teamed up with tea and coffee shop Old Tea Hut in a pilot trial for the app. It is currently being used by 200 DBS staff and will be available to the public at the end of the year.

ON THE FASTRACK

My employees are of a certain age and many people might expect that they are not so tech-savvy. But they actually adapted to the FasTrack process very quickly... More importantly, it's more convenient for my customers - no need for them to queue anymore.

MR KENNY LOY, Old Tea Hut's founder

Old Tea Hut will be a confirmed merchant on the app when it is made public. DBS is also in talks with several food and beverage outlets and chains for their inclusion.

"FasTrack allows merchants to easily adopt an online platform to drive business to their brick- and-mortar stores," said Mr Soo.

According to a mobile consumer survey done by research firm Deloitte, 57 per cent of Singaporeans polled would be willing to use their phones as a way to pay in physical stores.

Mr Soo added that the app will help shops lower manpower costs by reducing the number of staff on cashier duty.

"The manpower resource that would have otherwise been spent taking down orders or processing payments can now be allocated to other areas requiring attention," said Mr Soo.

"In the case of Old Tea Hut, their cashiers spend around 15 seconds on average per transaction, or up to 3.5 hours every day... If 100 per cent of orders were processed via FasTrack, we could eliminate the cash register entirely," he said.

Old Tea Hut founder Kenny Loy said the app would benefit his business in the long run, especially if he were to expand.

"My employees are of a certain age and many people might expect that they are not so tech-savvy. But they actually adapted to the FasTrack process very quickly," said Mr Loy.

"My outlet was able to take and process more orders with the same number of people. More importantly, it's more convenient for my customers - no need for them to queue anymore," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2015, with the headline 'Beat the rush hour queue - order via FasTrack'. Print Edition | Subscribe