Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cashless in Singapore

This CNA article about being cashless in China and this video from the ST should really be a wake up call to Singapore.

Cashless in Singapore?

Wait until neck long long.

Can just crawl to the corner in the hawker centre, roll into a ball and die of starvation.

Except for a handful of places offering the very fail DASH payment system (this is the SCB initiative, not to be confused with DASH, the $2B cryptocurrency), the new and unadopted LiquidPay and of course NETS FlashPay, I would imagine that 99% of transactions at hawker centres are still done by cash and coin.

Reading our own local reports on how it is going (CNA and Today) and comparing it to China clearly shows our lack of progress. It's both embarrassing and pathetic.

It is embarrassing af. That's right, af.

Pathetic why? Smartphones, check. 4G network, check. "Financial hub of Asia", check. Like a bazillion people in the financial industry, check. Cashless P2P payment method, er.... is PayNow counted? LOL.

After reading that articles I got second-hand embarrassed. Maybe we all should go back to our villages in China, kampungs in Malaysia? OH WAIT, the villages in China would still have more advanced payment methods than us, GAWD DAMNIT.

"How can we expect hawkers to suddenly embrace these kind of technologies? THEY ARE SO OLD, THEY DONT KNOW HOW TO USE HANDPHONES."

Well, I'd be damned if old people in China can learn and adopt the shit out of this, but we in Singapore can't.

While most people seem to think it is poor user adoption, I would also say that it is poor merchant adoption. I think 90% of people under 30 would be all for mobile cashless payments, not even a physical card is necessary. But of course, 50% of merchants still don't support NFC technology. "Sorry Sir, no PayWave". Okay, can.

Reluctant to change, lazy to press the buttons, lazy to check phone notifications...

I don't know, sounds like really bad excuses to me. Really. Bad. Excuses.

One of the biggest issues that I had with Japan was their unbelievably archaic way of using money to pay for stuff.

However, I was told that this is not because they can't, but it's largely because all small businesses under-declare taxes, and only businesses that accept cash can do this.

Then again, I can probably think of quite a few occupations in Singapore where the perk is "self-employed means can under declare taxes and don't need to contribute to CPF". Not I say one hor, is I heard people say.

Anyway, whatever.

I have a credit card with me and I always keep a minimum amount of cash, in a variety of small denominations because I am sure I'm going to end up somewhere "Cash only".

Majulah Singapura.


  1. I'm sure you've all seen videos of beggars in China going cashless too. Richer beggars have smartphones to do direct p2p wireless transfer. Poorer ones have pictures of QR codes hanging around their necks for you to scan your "donation" using your handphone. Before smart phones, the beggars were carrying portable card readers to accept "donation" by credit or debit or cash cards (some still do, using wireless versions of card readers).

    1. LOL I never knew about the portable card readers, but I have seen the QR codes recently. Even beggars have to keep up with technology it seems!

  2. Most self-employed under declare their income --- that's just normal human nature. I would too. Hell, I wouldn't even declare a damn thing. You won't find Grab/Uber drivers or 99% of tutors submitting to IRAS. But as long as they submit a tax return, CPF knows and will send reminders to "contribute to Medisave". That's also a condition to get Workfare for those lower-income self-employed.

    Many stingy old rich retirees will declare a low self-employed income to IRAS e.g. $6K annual income. Why?? So that they can qualify for maximum subsidies when means-tested in govt hospitals. Otherwise they will fail means-testing with their NRIC showing a Semi-D address. Did I mention the way SG does means-testing is fucked up??

    1. Thanks for the insights on means-testing in SG, I don't know much about it. It seems like policy makers should have a better formula for means testing.

      I'm sure the self-employed will not be too happy if this push gains ground, but I'm very sure that is one of the benefits that the G is hoping to gain from this push.

  3. Hi GMGH, just to point out that Dash is by Singtel and not SCB.

    1. singtel scb partnership, so u r both right


    2. Hi Anons,

      Yeah it is a Singtel-SCB partnership. I wonder if anyone seriously uses it. I think I've seen it being used ONCE in my life.

  4. Our hawkers used to declare whatever income and pay whatever tax they declared. Now how to deal with this? Go cashless means every single transactions can be tracked. Now they have no more loop holes. Smart government...

    1. Our G not stupid one. If you see hawkers tending their stall with rolex watches (I have), it makes you wonder just how much some hawkers are keeping by under declaring their income.


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