POSB trials new cashless programme for senior citizens in Yishun

The POSB Smart Senior programme offers rewards to seniors who use the contactless ATM card, including a $50 incentive to those who clock 100,000 steps and make at least 10 contactless payments in a month. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - These days, Madam Asmah Md Yassin, 55, flashes a card to pay for items and also uses the same card when taking public transport.

The housewife said it has been more convenient than using an EZ-Link card. She does not have to constantly top-up the amount in the free contactless ATM card she received from POSB because it is linked to her bank account.

The Yishun resident is one of 62 in the estate, aged 55 and above, recruited for a three-month trial by the bank to get senior citizens on board with Singapore's cashless drive.

They were each given an ATM card a few days ago that also doubles up as a public transport fare card. And to encourage them to use the card, and keep fit, the bank has dangled a reward.

The card is held in a "Smart Sleeve" which also performs a step tracking function.

Those who clock 100,000 steps, and make at least 10 contactless payments in a month, will get up to $50 credited into their bank account.

The POSB Smart Senior programme is a collaboration between the bank, Republic Polytechnic and the Yishun Riverwalk Residents' Committee (RC). It was developed based on feedback gathered from senior citizens in the area.

The initiative was launched at an event on Saturday (May 5) attended by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, the Member of Parliament for the area.

"We have many seniors living in our estate, so it is important that we reach out to them with support to become digitally ready," said Ms Marianne Yam, who chairs the Yishun Riverwalk RC.

About a quarter of the residents in the 1,400-flat development are aged 50 and above.

Madam Asmah described another advantage to using the card. "It's safer and more convenient because I don't have to carry so much cash around with me," she said.

Feedback gathered from participants at the end of the three-month trial will be used to improve the initiative.

Mr Jeremy Soo, the managing director and head of the consumer banking group for DBS, which owns POSB, said: "We took special care to design the programme's mechanics and device functionalities so that our seniors can enjoy a seamless experience when using the POSB Smart Sleeve."

The bank has waived the minimum $500 balance requirement for customers above the age of 62, he added.

Last year, POSB launched the Smart Buddy programme, which provided pupils from 19 primary schools with smartwatches that can be used to make cashless payments.

The programme has since been expanded to more than 40 schools, and POSB aims to eventually involve all 191 primary schools here.

"It's important we adopt an inclusive sort of approach to appeal to all ages," said Mr Soo.

As mobile payments become more popular, the bank hopes to allow consumers to use its different apps to pay for services such as transport as well as food delivery.

"Today they all exist on different platforms," he said.

"We are in a position to bring all of this on our platform, so that consumers do not need to have 20 apps on their mobile phone."

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