Beef up incentives to woo food sellers, diners to go cashless

There has been more buzz on the ground to boost cashless payments.

A key element needed is to create a critical mass fast at the grassroots level.

But some merchants in our hawker centres seem reluctant to go in that direction. This may be due to a lack of incentives for them to do so, or hassles they may be facing.

After I made a purchase through QR code from a hawker at a Chinatown food centre, I asked the store owner to take a look at my payment.

He told me that his Nets machine was stashed away as it was cumbersome.

I have had similar experiences at other food centres.

This is despite Nets, DBS, OCBC and UOB running a campaign to incentivise merchants and consumers to go cashless at selected hawker centres.

Perhaps, they can take bolder steps by giving more rewards to both diners and food sellers, especially the former.

If the push is strong on the demand side, there is a good chance that merchants will not want to be left behind.

Tan Kar Quan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Beef up incentives to woo food sellers, diners to go cashless'. Print Edition | Subscribe