SINGAPORE: An integrated point-of-sale (POS) system enabling cashless payments, augmented reality (AR) and services to deliver purchases to customers’ preferred locations are part of the first phase to give Kampong Glam a digital makeover.
This was revealed during the Ministry of Communications and Information’s (MCI) session of the Committee of Supply debates on Tuesday (Mar 6).
Announced last November by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, the digitalisation of the neighbourhood with rich culture and heritage is to complement the retail Industry Digital Plan (IDP).
On Tuesday (Mar 6), Dr Yaacob said in his speech that some of the key initiatives during the first phase include deploying an integrated POS solution that would allow interested merchants to accept cashless payments, track inventory and for financial accounting. It is working with StarHub on these merchant solutions, he added.
The data collected can also be used to build a database of customer profiles so retailers can launch “effective, targeted promotions”, his ministry added in a separate press release.
Another aspect is to have comprehensive listings of the businesses in Kampong Glam on various digital maps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps, which would include indoor, 360-degree views of these retail outlets. “This initiative will help to increase the visibility of merchants and attract visitors to their stores,” MCI said.
This was suggested by chairman of One Kampong Gelam Association Saeid Labbafi back in November last year, when he said many visitors there do not know the exact boundaries of Kampong Glam. He said by having a digital map and putting all the business on this map would help visitors know the activities and types of businesses there.
Dr Yaacob said it is partnering ride-hailing service provider Grab to offer an additional cashless option and increase accessibility to the area. The company said in a separate press release on Tuesday it will work with One Kampong Gelam to roll out its GrabPay payment offering to more than 600 merchants there in phases.
Additionally, AR will be introduced to create “an immersive experience for visitors”, as mobile apps supporting this feature can show location-based store discounts “overlaid” virtually on storefronts in real time. Gamification features can also be integrated into heritage walking trails to guide visitors along, it said.
Shoppers can also have the option of having their purchases delivered “conveniently and affordably” to their destination of choice, MCI said. Retailers can use a common mobile app to manage pick-ups, schedule deliveries, track the deliverymen and ensure secure delivery of packages.
These initiatives are targeted to be launched in the second quarter of the year, the ministry said.
"Learning from the Kampong Glam project, we will explore how we could develop other projects to digitalise the retail sector," Dr Yaacob said.