Android Pay, Apple Pay, PayLah!, PayNow, GrabPay, Singtel Dash, payWave. Nowadays, it seems there are more ways to go cashless than you can shake a card, or a smartphone, at. This wave of easy e-payment options looks like a win-win for both customers and the Government. After all, it means consumers can stop wrestling with small change when paying for anything from hawker meals to taxi rides. The Government's concerted Smart Nation push to go cashless, which gained traction after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's 2017 National Day Rally speech, seems to be on track. While convenience and efficiency are big pay-offs in a cashless society, there are trade-offs.
One of the biggest concerns is balancing convenience with security, something which the Monetary Authority of Singapore aims to address with new guidelines for e-payments, set to take effect on June 30. Once the e-payment user protection guidelines come into force, the onus is on users to be more security conscious, by conscientiously updating their apps, enabling e-payment alerts and reporting suspicious transactions or the loss of their mobile phones. While such measures are necessary to protect both e-payment operators and users, government agencies must continue to keep in mind that implementation of the process and rules need to go in tandem with education.