PUBLISHED: DEC 14, 2020

Why cash still king for many hawkers

The number of hawkers offering cashless payments more than doubled since June. Close to half of all 18,000 hawker stalls in Singapore accept cashless payment. The Hawkers Go Digital programme was key.

Hawkers who signed up for the Singapore Quick Response Code got a $300 bonus a month over five months if they had at least 20 cashless transactions monthly.

But many are resisting the cashless mode. Here’s what hawkers say.

“Cash is still king among my customers… For us older hawkers, cash is more convenient - particularly during the rush hours when juggling both cash and an e-payment system can be very troublesome.”

A 58-YEAR-OLD OLD AIRPORT ROAD HAWKER

“It might waste even more time for me to try to handle the app, than just taking cash. Customers don’t want to be kept waiting either as I slowly key in the amount.”

A TOA PAYOH HAWKER WHO’S IN HIS 60S AND DOESN’T HAVE GOOD EYESIGHT

“There is a lag time between transactions going through and appearing on our end. People found ways to game the system. It results in money lost for us.”

OLD AIRPORT ROAD HAWKER DON ENG, ON WHY SOME AREN’T JOINING HIM IN USING E-PAYMENTS

how they cheat

One method scammers used was to show screenshots of genuine earlier transactions as proof of payment. Another way is to flash the pre-payment page at hawkers, but not to approve the transaction.

“It really hurts our earnings and these things add up… Going cashless is convenient, but if there are consistent monetary losses, maybe we should stick to cash.”

HAWKER LUM SING YEW SAID IN CANTONESE, ADDING HE SUFFERED LOSSES OF UP TO $150

Get help

Hawkers who have difficulties with digital devices can get help at SG Digital community hubs. Of the 60 hubs, 25 are in libraries and the rest are in community centres.

Going cashless
Going cashless

SOURCE: ST REPORTS BY CHERYL TEH; ST VIDEO; ST PHOTO BY LIM YAOHUI; VIDEOS BY IMDA SINGAPORE/YOUTUBE

PRODUCED BY: DENISE CHONG

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