Tanjong Pagar Plaza Food Centre now accepts NETS QR code payment

The payment network Nets has recently launched a standardized QR code at Tanjong Plaza Food Centre. From 9 September, customers can pay for their meals by scanning the QR code on display at 47 out of 50 stalls at the hawker center.

As of now, customers can pay using OCBC’s PayAnyone and UOB’s Mighty, with DBS Paylah! set to be introduced from mid-November onwards. Similar to FOMO Pay’s payment method which uses both WeChat Pay and Alipay, customers will scan the QR code on display before keying in the amount they need to pay. Once the payment goes through, the stall owner will receive a confirmation on the spot. According to Nets, each respective hawker will receive a monthly settlement report that consolidates the different payment types. CNA also reported that NETS will roll out its own mobile wallet for Singaporeans by end-2017. The NETS Pay mobile wallet will allow those too young to own a credit card, or who do not wish to own one, to add their NETS ATM cards to their smartphones for mobile payments. It can also be used outside of Singapore as stated in the company's two-year Nets 2.0 initiative to expand beyond physical card-based payments to mobile phone-based payments.

This new initiative, which comes amidst calls for Singapore to transit into a Smart Nation, can be hailed as a huge step in the positive direction. Convincing hawkers to adopt cashless payment modes is still seen as a challenging problem because of the need to have quick access to hard cash. While cashless payment methods like WeChat Pay and Alipay facilitate an instantaneous transfer of funds from the customer to the hawker, none of the current payment systems such as Nets QR code option allows hawkers to draw out the funds in hard cash immediately. By encouraging hawkers to adopt a fluid cash flow system that simultaneously incorporates a portion of illiquid funds, more hawkers would be willing to take up cashless payments.

Just as how the rapidity with which Tencent’s WeChat payment app and Alibaba’s Alipay have overtaken the entire payments industry in China has shocked many industry observers, the same can be expected here in Singapore. Both WeChat Pay and Alipay have infiltrated every layer of commerce in China from the posh retail shops in Shanghai down to the street hawkers in narrow alleyways. Paying through WeChat Pay is an option available for everyone, anywhere and anytime. Given the governmental support for cashless payments in Singapore, and the numerous payment solutions that have sprung up recently (e.g. Razer), it is expected that the cashless revolution in Singapore is not a matter of ‘if’, but simply a matter of time.

In Singapore, hawkers are a ubiquitous part of our culture and they can be found in every corner of the island. Getting them to adopt cashless payments including WeChat Pay and Alipay, though difficult at the start, would pay off huge dividends because this would show other retailers that e-payment is not something that is totally complex or foreign. At the end of the day, this would accelerate the adoption of cashless payments here in Singapore.

About FOMO Pay Pte. Ltd

FOMO Pay is an authorized partner of WeChat Pay, Alipay, UnionPay, Baidu Wallet & BestPay in Southeast Asia, and was selected as one of the Top 100 Asian Companies by e27, Top 100 Startups by Red Herring Asia, and Top 8 by DBS’ FinTech Accelerator Program, Top Fintech Startups in Singapore by Fintech Asia. FOMO Pay provides a one-stop solution for local merchants by facilitating payment collection from China market, including Chinese tourists. This comprises of online payment and in-store payment modes. FOMO Pay’s business solution serves clients from a wide range of industries, including the telecom, publishing, tourism and hospitality, F&B, education and retail industries.