Seniors may need help getting cards to go cashless

I believe Mr Donny Ho Boon Tiong has missed the crux of the issue (Give incentives to seniors for making cashless top-ups; Aug 24).

"Cardless" may be a better description for seniors who prefer to dig into their purses to get money to pay for their bus and train rides.

Cards serve as a link from the point of sale to the pot of cash.

They draw funds from this pot to pay sellers of goods and services, including top-ups.

So, why do people prefer to pay in cash?

Cards do not come free.

The problem arises when people do not have enough money to deposit with the card issuer and pay for the card as well.

They may not even be able to afford to buy a stored-value card.

Will banks and other card issuers issue the cards free of charge, without requiring a minimum deposit?

Will banks continue to accept cash deposits so these people can have funds in their accounts, and so make cashless payments using their cards?

Singapore should not go overboard in the rush to be a cashless country.

Denis Distant

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2017, with the headline 'Seniors may need help getting cards to go cashless'. Print Edition | Subscribe