Service providers guilty of resisting cashless drive, too

Elderly people and low income families are always blamed as the groups that hinder Singapore's move to become a cashless society (Consider differentiated GSTs as incentive for going cashless, by Mr Ho Tong Fatt; March 6).

However, the relevant authorities have not cared to reflect on the real deterrent.

It must be made clear that payment modes are dictated by service providers, and not consumers.

This is dependant on the availability and convenience of the various modes of payment.

One good example is SP Services, which serves every household but does not seem to be on board with the national cashless drive.

For years, they have not allowed online payments by any credit card other those from DBS Bank.

They also allow recurring bill payments only with DBS Bank's credit cards and do not accept payments through Visa Paywave or MasterCard PayPass, even as neighbourhood retailers and major supermarkets have started accepted these modes of payment.

How can we continue to put the blame on the disadvantaged groups for not catching up with national initiatives when the major businesses themselves are not in tune with the drive towards cashless and contactless payment?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the relevant authorities need to work with the businesses and card-issuing organisations to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Going cashless will work only if processes are designed properly.

Lim Tong Wah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Service providers guilty of resisting cashless drive, too'. Subscribe