Attempts by new cashless payment providers in Singapore to make inroads into hawker centres have not proved fruitful as customers are not enthusiastic about this change. Hawkers are saying that only few people have paid using the QR-code method while the rest are using the traditional system of making payment through cash.
Hawkers at Bukit Timah and Tiong Bahru food centres, where a trial of mobile app Liquid Pay has concluded, said few customers choose to use the app because it is a hassle to pre-load the e-wallet. Adding that about one to ten transactions have been completed via Liquid Pay in the past three months.
Another cashless payment provider Net FlashPay from the ubiquitous NETS payment solutions has also evoked lukewarm response.
“At hawker centres, there’s inertia in changing a system that’s traditionally cash-based that hawkers and consumers are used to. Nets is still at an early stage of implementation and it’ll take a few years to change merchant and consumer behaviours,” said a Nets spokesperson.
Ice Lim-Angkhana, who runs a stall selling Thai food at the Bukit Timah centre, said she introduced the app to customers who did not carry enough cash, “Even then, they often find it troublesome to download the app and load money into their accounts.”