Cash top-up at MRT ticketing machines should stay

I can see the rationale for ceasing cash top-ups at passenger service centres in MRT stations, but cash top-ups at ticketing machines should be retained (MRT moves a step closer in journey to go cashless; Feb 19).

The legal tender status of cash in Singapore for all legitimate transactions should be respected.

No transaction, including paying for public transport, should be denied by rejecting cash.

Cash top-ups remain important for those without credit or debit cards or other e-payment means.

These include not only young children and some elderly, but also those who prefer a cardless lifestyle as a means of managing their finances.

There are also adults in our society whose mental state makes them vulnerable if they were to carry debit and credit cards or e-payment enabled mobile devices.

While such cards and devices help them to be independent, they can do without the unnecessary risks that may come if they have to carry such things with them.

Also, I am sure there are others like me who like being independent of such cards and devices while abroad.

For example, I greatly appreciate the flexibility of being able to use cash to top up stored-value cards in Japan at all train stations and convenience stores.

This also helps me to be financially prudent.

I imagine many tourists in Singapore would like to have the same facilities.

Tourist passes are sold for transportation convenience, andno one should be denied access to topping up these passes unless they use credit cards.

One group, in particular, which I foresee being affected is the small groups of students from overseas that are led by a handful of adults.

I have seen an increasing number of these groups using public transport right from the moment they arrive at the airport and for their tours around Singapore.

Chen Junyi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2018, with the headline 'Cash top-up at MRT ticketing machines should stay'. Print Edition | Subscribe