Singapore leads the way in contactless payment in SEASyah Ismail
Singapore has come a long way in terms of e-payment since the introduction of contactless payment. Everywhere you go, whether it is the MRT, government buildings or even hawker centres, you can see people using their smartphones and wearables to make payments.
Under the Smart Nation initiative, the government set up e-payment in the country to lower transaction costs for all businesses and for citizens who are purchasing goods and services. Their efforts were boosted by the widespread acceptance of contactless payment, high penetration of credit and debit cards, as well as a good level of mobile readiness such as Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
This high penetration allowed the government to introduce a number of payment services including PayNow and SGQR. The Ministry of Education (MOE) leverages PayNow to disburse EduSave Awards to Polytechnic and ITE students while senior citizens are able to make lump sum CPF withdrawals through PayNow.
The innovation doesn’t stop there. In the public transport sector, Singapore has taken the lead in contactless fare payment in the South-east Asia region. With the introduction of ez-link CEPAS purse for wearable devices and Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) System, commuters are able to cut the queue and make their daily journey a more convenient affair.
With a grand vision of a “hands-free” fare system, Singapore will be a role model, in terms of innovating technology for the benefits of its people, for other countries in the region.