SINGAPORE – Singaporeans will be able to enjoy cashback of up to $3 when they pay for a hawker centre meal using the DBS PayLah app on Fridays, from Feb 10.
The programme, which will end on Jan 19, 2024, applies to any of the 11,600 SGQR code-enabled hawker stalls islandwide and will be available to the first 100,000 PayLah users from 6am each Friday.
DBS Singapore group executive and country head Shee Tse Koon said that the DBS 5 Million Hawker Meals initiative aims to ameliorate inflationary pressures on consumers.
Mr Shee said: “With persistent inflation and rising cost of living, we understand the concerns among Singaporeans and residents that their money is not going as far as before.”
According to data from the Department of Statistics, food prices rose for the 10th consecutive month last December.
Hawker food inflation, in particular, soared to a 14-year high of 8.1 per cent from a year earlier.
“So we want to do what we can to provide some relief to those looking to better manage their everyday expenses,” Mr Shee said.
Under the initiative, the bank will work with government agencies and grassroots organisations to hold digital literacy workshops to ensure that the less tech-savvy know how to access this subsidy.
Mr Shee said: “As technology continues to evolve and become a bigger part of our daily lives, we need to ensure that those who are less comfortable with digital services are given all the support to build up their confidence and skills… This has been our priority for many years and we continue to bolster our efforts to ensure all are brought along on this journey.”
At the launch event on Wednesday, a pop-up digital literacy workshop was held to teach users how to access the subsidy, in preparation for the first day of the programme on Feb 10.
In a statement on Wednesday, DBS Bank said that ongoing efforts to drive digital adoption nationwide have led to more people being aware of and opting for digital payments at hawker centres.
Since 2020, when the Government launched the Hawkers Go Digital programme, the number of transactions via SGQR code at participating stalls has grown, DBS added.
Attending the launch event on Wednesday was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and National Development Indranee Rajah, who said the programme would provide a monetary incentive for the elderly to pick up digital skills.
She added: “As we progress, we do know that digitalisation is part of everyday life and we don’t want our elderly to be left behind.”