$130m CDC voucher scheme goes paperless, to be app-based

Community Development Council paper vouchers were introduced in June 2020 to help lower-income families.
Community Development Council paper vouchers were introduced in June 2020 to help lower-income families.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - About 1.3 million Singaporean households will be receiving their next tranche of  Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers digitally.

The e-vouchers can be redeemed at hawker centres and at neighbourhood minimarts. 

The $130 million digital voucher scheme will be rolled out in a few months, said the five CDCs in a joint statement with the People’s Association (PA) on Monday (Oct 18).

Each household will receive $100 in CDC e-vouchers.

Participating merchants such as hawkers and shopkeepers will use an app to scan the QR code on the vouchers to be reimbursed.

Ambassadors from the CDCs and the SG Digital Office will help merchants learn to use the app. 

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said during the Budget that the CDC Vouchers Scheme is to thank Singaporeans for the solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic and to support heartland businesses.

Called RedeemSG Merchant, the app allows heartland merchants and hawkers to accept government-issued digital vouchers, track voucher transactions and reduces the time needed for them to be reimbursed, said the CDCs.

Merchants and hawkers can register for the programme online.

A CDC voucher ambassador will contact them in two weeks to guide them through the process of using the app, said the authorities.

Mayors’ Committee chair Low Yen Ling said the latest tranche of the CDC Vouchers Scheme was refined following feedback from merchants that collating and tracking paper vouchers added up to more work.

Ms Low, who is also Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Mayor of South West District, said: “The new RedeemSG Merchant app lets sellers track transactions easily and frees them from the hassle of collecting and counting paper vouchers.

“We hope heartland merchants and hawkers will take this chance to get on board this free scheme which will not only help widen their customer base, but also provide a guided initiation to the use of digital platforms for their long-term growth and future.”

CDC vouchers were introduced in June last year when 400,000 lower-income families identified through government help schemes each received $50 vouchers to be spent at local businesses.

The vouchers had to be collected from designated community centres and there were about 2,500 merchants on board in the early phases.

The scheme was extended in January with 400,000 families receiving paper vouchers worth $50 that also had to be collected in person.

The Government said then that there were more than 8,100 participating heartland merchant shops and hawker stalls

In response to queries, Ms Low said the estimated $150 million allocated for the programme by the Finance Ministry in this year’s Budget included administrative costs.

She said the necessary support and assistance for those who need more help and guidance on how to redeem vouchers would be provided, and more details on how the vouchers will be issued will be given in time.