Seniors get help with e-transactions

IMDA programme teaches those over 50 how to use e-payment apps to shop, transfer funds

Madam Grace Kee, 69, being guided by an employee of OCBC Bank on how she can buy a drink from a vending machine using a phone application.
Madam Grace Kee, 69, being guided by an employee of OCBC Bank on how she can buy a drink from a vending machine using a phone application.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Over-50s who cannot tell their PayLah from their PayNow, or need to learn how to snap quick-response (QR) codes to pay for purchases in stores can now take part in a three-hour programme to get them up to speed on going cashless.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched its first e-Payment Learning Journey yesterday, which gives people over 50 years old a hands-on session on how to transfer money to others using e-payment apps, how to pay at stores using QR codes and how to top-up their ez-link card at MRT stations.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who made e-payments a national priority during his National Day Rally speech last year, attended the first programme held at the Grassroots Club at Ang Mo Kio yesterday.

Participants were first taught how to find and download the relevant apps on their smartphones and how to register and log in to their respective accounts.

These include e-payment apps developed by the various banks here, such as DBS PayLah, OCBC Pay Anyone and UOB Mighty. They were also taught how to use PayNow, the instant fund-transfer system which lets users transfer money to others by keying in the recipient's mobile phone or identity card number.

Ms Koh Li-Na, IMDA's senior director for the digital readiness cluster, said it was important that participants could try these e-payment options in real life and go through realistic payment processes.

"Using technology appropriately allows seniors to connect with their family members, access e-services, and enjoy the convenience of e-transactions and e-payments," she said.

The programme is the latest addition to the IMDA's Silver Infocomm Initiative, which was set up to equip senior citizens with digital skills.

Singapore's e-payment journey took off in earnest last year, following PM Lee's call to move ahead in this space.

A national QR code payment standard, named SGQR, will be rolled out later this year.

Users will also be able to use PayNow to pay merchants for purchases through PayNow Corporate, which is expected to be launched around August this year.

There will be five other programmes held throughout the rest of the year, with the IMDA aiming to help 2,000 seniors.

Participant Sharon Leow, 67, signed up through the Teck Ghee Active Ageing Committee as she wanted to keep up with current digital trends.

"Now I know only how to transfer money to other people through the ATM," said the retired teaching aide. "But if I can learn to do it from my phone, it would be more convenient. I won't need to go out and queue."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2018, with the headline 'Seniors get help with e-transactions'. Subscribe