Economy Food Singapore 

Hawkers get faster access to funds from Nets transactions

SINGAPORE – In a move to address hawkers’ grouses about e-payment delays, Nets said on Thursday (Jan 17) proceeds from Nets transactions made before 5pm will now land in hawkers’ bank accounts by 11pm the same day.

Proceeds from transactions made after 5pm will be credited to the hawkers’ bank accounts before 9am the next day.

The firm said the initiative, which was launched on Thursday, will improve cash flow and give hawkers faster access to their funds.

CashCard and Nets FlashPay transactions are not applicable for same-day settlements.

Hawkers told The Straits Times that the new system is an improvement over the previous one, where they were able to get proceeds only on the next working day.

This meant that hawkers who registered Nets transactions on a Friday had to wait until after the weekend before they were able to receive the proceeds.

Ms Chelve Magan, 37, co-owner of the Seyon Briyani Palace in Toa Payoh, told The Straits Times that the new initiative addresses her concern about having to wait for sales proceeds.

She has used Nets’ payment system for about six months, with about 20 per cent of her income coming through it.

“It is easier for us to cover our expenses with the money coming in on the same day,” she said.

“It will help me to promptly pay my staff at the end of the day.”

More than 4,000 stalls across hawker centres, coffee shops and canteens accept payment via Nets.

The new initiative was the result of a collaboration between Nets and DBS, OCBC and UOB.

Nets said in a statement that it hopes the move will encourage more hawkers to adopt e-payments.

Hawkers do not need to make any extra arrangements to qualify for the same-day settlement.

But for some hawkers, the change makes no difference.

Mr Kelvin Lee, 39, owner of Kim Keat Hokkien Mee, accepts only cash at his stall. He said in Mandarin: “Throughout the day, we have suppliers coming in at different timings.

“We pay them in cash, so we need the cash on hand at all times.”

He added: “Transacting in cash is faster too. There is no need to wait for the machine to load and for people to take out their phones or key in their PIN numbers.”

Mr Lim Giam Sock, 70, owner of drinks stall Sin Heng Coffeeshop, said that while he accepts payment by Nets, most customers still prefer to pay in cash due to the small amounts spent.

He sometimes records only one Nets transaction every two days.

Nets’ latest announcement comes amid a nationwide push towards cashless payment.

Last September, the firm was appointed to unify the fragmented e-payment landscape here and bring cashless payments to all 12,000 stalls at hawker centres, canteens and coffee shops in Singapore.

Merchants will be given a terminal for card payments and the national QR code payment standard, dubbed SGQR, to accept and process transactions from about 20 payment schemes, such as Singtel Dash, GrabPay and Alipay.

The terminal will be rented to hawkers at no charge for the first three years after they sign up with Nets. Transaction fees of 0.5 per cent will be borne by the Government during the period.

By August, customers dining at coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens can choose from the payment schemes through unified touchpoints.

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