Don't overlook needs of the elderly and needy in drive to go cashless

Recently, my sister met a woman in her 80s who was looking for a 7-Eleven outlet to top up her ez-link card.

Unsure of the location of the nearest 7-Eleven, my sister told the woman that the MRT station was five minutes away and she could top up her card there. Alternatively, she could also use a nearby ATM.

But the woman said that, unlike at the MRT station or the ATM, she could top up her card at 7-Eleven with only $5, half the minimum amount needed at either one of the places suggested by my sister.

The needy may find it hard to come up with $10 each time to top up their cards, so much so that they would rather pay a 50-cent fee to top up a smaller sum - in this woman's case, it is a good 10 per cent of her transport money.

I hope that going completely cashless on our public transport will not add another burden on them (Fully cashless public transport by 2020; Aug 12).

While I understand and agree with the drive to go cashless on our public transport, I hope that more thought will be given to helping the needy and elderly cope with this change.

Judy Lim Sok Cheng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Don't overlook needs of the elderly and needy in drive to go cashless'. Print Edition | Subscribe