15,000 taxi drivers to be recruited by Nets to encourage hawkers to go cashless

SINGAPORE - In its bid to push hawkers to go cashless, payment services group Nets has enlisted the help of an unconventional army: ComfortDelGro's 15,000 taxi drivers.

The plan is for cabbies to introduce the Nets QR code system to hawkers unfamiliar with it. For every hawker they manage to sign up for the Nets service, cabbies will receive monetary rewards, said both firms in a joint announcement on Thursday (Feb 1).

As part of this "Hawker Champion" programme, ComfortDelGro cabbies and staff will receive a Nets FlashPay card with a usage value of $5 when they download the Netspay app.

The programme is still being tested by 100 taxi drivers who have been trained by Nets. It will be rolled out to the full fleet over the next few months.

Nets chief executive Jeffrey Goh said: "Ask any taxi driver for food recommendations and they'll be able to point you to their favourite hawker stalls all over Singapore. Hence, we thought they'd be the perfect ambassadors to help us reach out to their favourite hawkers and encourage them to embrace cashless payments since the drivers themselves are familiar with Nets QR payments."

Taxi driver Tham Yuet Kok, 69, who is one of the first 100 in the programme, said that he appreciates the convenience that cashless payments bring, having gone through the transition from cash to cashless and now to cardless payments.

He added: "But I also fully understand the concerns hawkers may have, and will be able to share my experience with them."