Imagine a future where you no longer need to carry cash around.
As part of Singapore’s move towards being a Smart Nation, it’s time we embraced the widespread use of cashless payments. In fact, if you no longer use coins when you take a public bus, congratulations – you’re already a part of the movement.
No more notes and coins; all you need is a smart phone.
That is the vision that DBS was painting when they recently announced the launch of their “Smart Nation Ambassador Programme” (SNAP), as a joint initiative with *SCAPE. The announcement was made at the DBS PayLah! X *SCAPE Palooza event—a flea market which featured the usage of QR code payments. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu, officiated the event.
The SNAP initiative by DBS will see the recruitment of up to 1,000 ambassadors who will encourage and assist small businesses to establish DBS PayLah! QR codes as an available payment method. They will primarily approach hawker stalls, wet market vendors and neighbourhood shops.
Additionally, the bank will also work with ComfortDelGro Taxi to implement QR code payment in its fleet of 16,300 taxis by the third quarter of 2017.
The bank has envisioned a future where cashless payments become the norm, using the DBS PayLah! app. Just link the app to a Singapore bank account to start transacting. The app is able to scan QR codes for when you need to make payment, and generate a personal QR code for receiving funds.
We were given a glimpse of this future at the DBS PayLah! X *SCAPE Palooza event.
Other apps that enable QR code payment include Liquid Pay and, by June 2017, OCBC Pay Anyone.
So perhaps the biggest issue now is the lack of a standardised QR code system, like in Thailand, that allow consumers and merchants to use QR codes interchangeably between apps. Which means we probably have to download all the apps to use at various merchants, depending on whose codes they implemented for payment.
Nevertheless, with increased efforts to educate the public and more big players getting into the game, we reckon it is only a matter of time that having no cash on you isn’t a problem.