POSTED 26 Jun 2018 - 17:04

Would you like to see a cash-and-cheque-free Singapore and why?

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Minister mentioned that Singapore can use less cash and be cheque-free by 2025 (https://www.sgsme.sg/news/government/singapore-can-use-less-cash-and-be-cheque-free-2025-ong-ye-kung). Are we still used to cash or are we embracing more digital payments these days?
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Top Response

Arun

Yes. I prefer a cash-and-cheque-free life because it saves the hassle of having to write a cheque that may get rejected from the bank.

Going cashless also means that it saves time when shopping as I do not need to wait for the cashier to return me my change. Sticking to cash is a waste of...

Responses

Pang Thye
2 Jul 2018 - 17:59

The payments landscape worldwide is evolving rapidly, with digital payments embraced for all sorts of transactions. Soon, it may even be possible to transfer money to someone overseas with simply a foreign mobile number.

Efforts to make e-payments even simpler, cheaper, safer and to gain wider acceptance must therefore continue to serve as the cornerstone for encouraging its adoption.

Increased adoption will follow when digital and social media become an integral part of our lives, with e-payments as a convenient enabler.

If technology investments and e-payment transaction costs for merchants can also be reduced towards zero, we will also see more small merchants come onboard, as more will substitute cash payments with e-payments.

Nevertheless, going completely cashless may be unnecessary. There will be societal segments who struggle with using technology, including e-payments.

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Helen Ng
2 Jul 2018 - 17:58

The points raised by the NUS students regarding the resilience of the technical infrastructure, availability of top-up machines and preparedness of certain demographic groups to support a completely cashless campus are valid and should be carefully considered as Singapore sets ambitious goals towards a cashless society.

Some neighbourhood shop operators and the elderly are still resistant to going cashless. Steps should be taken to allay their concerns and payment methods modified to suit their needs.

Singapore should go cashless to the extent that it brings both environmental benefits and widespread convenience to the general population.

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Kevyn Yong
2 Jul 2018 - 17:57

Innovation should make our lives simpler and better, not more complicated. To this end, the idea of a cashless society is spot on. Thus, it is imperative that cashless payment solutions be user-friendly for both consumers and merchants alike.

Well-designed cashless payment solutions collect data quickly and securely to improve productivity, making it easier to track business and economic performance.

It is certainly an exciting time for commerce - but there is still more to do. While merchants and consumers require further education on the business and productivity benefits that they can enjoy, cashless payment solutions will do well to address security concerns and show that, among the variety of options on offer, there is one that works well for everyone.

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Vipin Kalra
2 Jul 2018 - 17:57

With a multitude of digital financial solutions, a highly connected population and the support of government authorities, Singapore is well placed to go cashless.

However, I believe that the key to accelerating this shift lies in changing the mindset of businesses and consumers. To this end, we need to tackle pain-points such as interoperability between various solutions and disincentivise the use of cash.

Ultimately, e-payment solutions can offer greater convenience and security, as they are instant, paperless and have better traceability.

By ensuring that initiatives in this regard are inclusive, cash will no longer be seen as a necessity and non-cash alternatives will be adopted by a broader audience.

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Karl Hamann
2 Jul 2018 - 17:55

E-payments now exist on numerous platforms, and are fundamental to our economy. While paying electronically is quick and convenient, it also adds layers of complexity in terms of security and ensuring that retailers accept the relevant modes of payment. It is partly for these reasons that cash retains its appeal.

However, the benefits of a unified and integrated cashless ecosystem cannot be ignored. We need to hasten the adoption of cashless payments, and ensure that consumers are comfortable with the new status quo.

That also means becoming increasingly aware of the undiscovered risks and vulnerabilities brought about by a cashless society.

Our progress should not see us overextend to potentially risky territory, ensuring sound protection of people's money.

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Tony Cripps
2 Jul 2018 - 17:54

For Singapore, going cashless is a lot easier than other countries. For instance, most Singaporeans are banked. Based on a World Bank Global Findex survey, 96 per cent of Singapore residents above the age of 15 have bank accounts.

This means that we have the basic tools in place for cashless transactions.

Factor into this platforms such as ATM/credit/debit cards, PayNow, ez-link, GrabPay and various other mobile wallets, and Singapore easily has the means to become fully cashless. It is now a matter of cultivating habits and getting people used to making cashless transactions anywhere and everywhere - even at, say, hawker centres.

Singaporeans already have faith in technology. In a recent HSBC research report, 73 per cent of Singaporeans surveyed said that they think that technology makes their life easier. So now it is a matter of putting technology into play in order to improve and simplify daily routines.

For that to happen, cashless platforms must go commercial. PayNow Corporate is a big step in the right direction.

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Victor Mills
2 Jul 2018 - 17:54

The goal to eliminate payment by cheque is a welcome one. Europe achieved this earlier this century. What businesses need is a cost-effective, user-friendly and secure payment platform accepted by all banks.

The goal to reduce cash makes sense for commercial and large payments.

There is no need to eliminate cash. That will happen over time.

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Yeoh Oon Jin
2 Jul 2018 - 17:53

There are now many options in Singapore for cashless payments, and the speed of adoption is definitely increasing.

However, some existing challenges include interoperability issues among certain platforms, the cost of credit card and related platform transaction costs particularly for SMEs, and security and data protection concerns.

There is an increasing need to build trusted ecosystems and platforms to build up consumer confidence to further accelerate the adoption of digital payments. It will also be important to embrace further standardisation to improve the ease of use for consumers.

While there are clearly many benefits in going cashless, there will be the need to maintain cash transactional infrastructure for some time to support those in society who might need to rely on cash as the mode of payment.

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