Thursday, July 05, 2018

Cashless payments using EZ Link card

PM Lee set a goal for Singapore to adopt cashless payment at the food courts and retail outlets.

He was told about the widespread use of mobile payments using QR code. He thought that this was the correct approach, as it was adopted successfully in China.

A lot of effort had been invested by many parties during the past year. The progress has been disappointing. We have a fragmentation of platforms.

I wish to suggest a new approach towards cashless payments.

We should use the EZ Link card that is now widely used for public transport.

EZ Link had also signed up a small number of retail outlets, but the adoption had been dismal.

One stumbling block is the difficulty of retail outlets to install a EZ Link terminal to accept payment through this source. This terminal cost $50 to $100 a month. The transction fee is 3 to 5% of the amount collected.

I wish to propose a solution.

We can design a mobile app that allows the retailer to accept payment through EZ Link. This will replace the expensive terminal.

As mobile phones are cheap, it can be a low cost terminal. The retailer enters the amount and the customer taps the EZ Link card. The amount is transferred.

The EZ Link fee should be 5 cents per transaction (instead of 3% to 5% of the amount.

Retailers will be happy to adopt this method as they will save a lot of time by not handling cash. The fee is also much lower than the fee payable to the banks for NETS and credit card payments.

Almost every adult and child have an EZ Link card. It is easy to top up the card at the MRT stations.

If this approach is adopted, we can have cashless payments introduced very quickly in Singapore.

Do you agree?

Tan Kin Lian

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