Forum: Iron out snags in digital push for hawkers

It is good to see how hawkers are moving towards digitalisation with hawker centres and coffee shops in my neighbourhood offering cashless payment options such as through the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) (Government will support hawkers through their digitalisation journey: Iswaran, ST Online, June 11).

However, the actual experience has been less than smooth as I have encountered obstacles in completing transactions via SGQR.

On one occasion, the vendor told me the point-of-sale terminal by Nets had been down for several days and no one had fixed it.

On another, the app returned an error message saying that the merchant had not set up the QR code properly. Both times, the stallholders were not able to resolve the technical issues and just shrugged their shoulders.

SGQR should not be just another payment option but rather the de facto payment mode as we move towards full digitalisation. The current Covid-19 situation makes this even more urgent as such a system also helps to minimise contact between customers and business owners.

My experience with SGQR shows we still have some way to go in educating vendors and the public on the tremendous potential of this e-payment mode.

I hope the relevant authorities will address this to ensure consumers have a seamless experience and vendors get the knowledge to resolve teething issues. This is something our digital ambassadors should take note of.

Ho Jin Kiat