TL;DR – We’re fast-tracking to a cashless society!
Q: How do you know Singapore is one step closer to being a cashless society?
A: When our national carrier rolls out a digital wallet that lets you shop with your KrisFlyer miles!
Recently reported in the news, Singapore Airlines (SIA) is set to launch the world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet to “digitise KrisFlyer miles” for use at participating retail merchants. Together with bigwigs in technology like Microsoft and the KPMG Digital Village, SIA has developed its own privatised blockchain (nope, you can’t trade it like you trade cryptocurrency) for partners within this network and aims to roll it out within the next 6 months.
Pssst… If I’ve lost you at blockchain… you’re not alone! I found a 2-minute explainer video that’s really useful.
In a Smart Nation… cash is (not quite) king
In last year’s National Day Rally message, PM Lee Hsien Loong brought up that a Smart Nation is about Singapore taking full advantage of information technology. Because of our relatively small land size, high connectivity, strong infrastructure and high digital literacy, Singapore has a natural advantage when it comes to implementing cashless solutions seamlessly.
With cashless payments gaining a strong foothold in our everyday life – think PayLah-ing your colleague for lunch, sending e-angbaos and hopping in and out of your Uber or Grab without the need for exchanging monies; the stage is set to propel Singapore towards a cashless society.
EZ-Link and NTUC to get more people to go cashless
Another partnership between EZ-Link and NTUC’s Social Enterprises announced this wee also solidifies the drive towards being cashless. This partnership would see EZ-Link users being able to use their card to pay for purchases at over 30,000 outlets in Singapore. For users who have an EZ-Link and are also a Plus! cardholder, you can link the two cards and whenever you pay using your EZ-Link, you will earn you 1 LinkPoint for every $2 spent (with the exception of transport fares).
We reckon you’ll be looking at your EZ-Link card very differently from now on! 😉
Moving fast but not fast enough
Even with so many advancements in going cashless, Singapore is still lagging behind.
Despite China being a massive country in size and population, cash is fast becoming obsolete in China in favour of cashless transactions. This economic phenomenon even sees street vendors using QR codes alongside WeChat Pay and Alipay payment methods.
While integrations continue to make it convenient to go cashless, mindsets of Singaporeans need to change. Going cashless is but a subset of the larger picture – that Singapore needs to evolve, to keep up with the times, to truly embrace being a Smart Nation so that we can continue to prosper economically.
So go ahead, indulge in your shopping spree… with your KrisFlyer miles and EZ-Link card!