FOOD & BEVERAGE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Selected F&B stores to accept 10 e-payment modes by end-2018

This is geared towards adding e-payments to coffee shops, hawker centres, and canteens.

Enterprise Singapore, as well as National Environment Agency (NEA) and JTC, have appointed NETS as the master acquirer for a “commercially viable, interoperable, and open access” e-payment solution for coffee shops, hawker centres, and industrial canteens.

According to an announcement, food businesses have to operate at the premises of the aforementioned government agencies in order to be eligible under the terms of the appointment. Customers will be able to use 20 payment schemes, which includes CEPAS transport cards such as EZ-Link, concession cards, and NETS FlashPay, and mobile payment applications.

The first batch of 10 payment schemes will go live by the end of this year. By August 2019, customers dining at coffee shops, hawker centres, and industrial canteens can choose from all 20 payment schemes through unified touchpoints.

“In Singapore, about 40% of dining occasions take place at coffee shops, hawker centres, and canteens. With technology becoming such an integral part of our urban lifestyles, the government is enhancing the dining experience by providing customers with a unified e-payment solution where transactions can be made easily, quickly and securely,” said Enterprise Singapore deputy CEO Ted Tan.

Merchants will be given a terminal for card payments and an SGQR code to accept and process transactions from the 20 payment schemes. The appointment of a master acquirer will also eliminate the need for multiple terminals or quick response (QR) codes.

Under the initiative, a merchant discount rate (MDR) of 0.5% for monthly payment transactions was agreed upon. This is below the average industry MDR of between 2% and 5%.

The government will provide funding support over three years, bringing down the MDR to 0%. NETS will also waive the terminal rental fee for merchants.

Payment transactions will be credited directly into the merchant’s bank account within one day after close of business, for transactions made before 11 p.m.

“Transactions made via American Express, Mastercard and Visa will be credited within two days after close of business. Transaction receipts will be consolidated into a single report by the master acquirer,” Enterprise Singapore added.

Merchants will also be offered the option of integrating their e-payment terminal with their point of sales (POS) system where applicable, to better measure sales performance and consumer purchase behaviour.

In the next two years, this initiative targets to have the e-payment solution to be adopted across 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centres and 20 industrial canteens. 

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