Forum: Looking forward to S'pore becoming the smartest cashless city

A customer using Visa payWave to pay at a self checkout counter at NTUC Fairprice.
A customer using Visa payWave to pay at a self checkout counter at NTUC Fairprice.PHOTO: ST FILE

It is indeed wonderful to be living in the "smartest" city in the world (Singapore tops world Smart City Index, Oct 4).

And no doubt, on all the measures indicated in the survey that went into the index, Singapore does offer infrastructure and technology services par excellence for its residents - something to be really proud of.

But I await the day when Singapore becomes the smartest cashless city in the world.

And that can happen only when the hawker stall uncle, the shopkeeper at a Little India shop, the person at a temple selling a $2 prayer ticket, and the teen collecting donations in a tin box all do not require cash during payment.

When I have to rush to the nearest ATM to withdraw $10 to pay them - despite the availability of options like Nets and credit cards as well as e-payment channels like PayNow, PayLah, GrabPay, FavePay and NetsPay - I wonder: Are we really there yet?

Can something be done to waive bank charges for these micropayments so that they do not limit the adoption potential?

A much more personalised campaign must be launched to enable cashless adoption at all levels.

Deepak S. Iyer

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline 'Looking forward to S'pore becoming the smartest cashless city'. Print Edition | Subscribe