SINGAPORE: NETS has been appointed to unify the e-payment landscape at hawker centres, coffee shops and industrial canteens, announced Enterprise Singapore on Wednesday (Sep 12).
This means NETS will be the only touchpoint to reconcile accounts and earnings by participating stall holders who accept payment via the various cashless systems, eliminating the need for multiple terminals or quick response (QR) codes.
For customers, they can choose to pay using 20 different e-payment options, including EZ-Link, NETS FlashPay, WeChat Pay, Singtel Dash and GrabPay.
The appointment of NETS as “master acquirer” follows a call for collaboration in April by several government agencies for a commercially viable, interoperable and open access e-payment solution.
Food businesses eligible for the unified system are those which operate under the Housing and Development Board, National Environment Agency and JTC Corporation.
The initiative will be rolled out in two phases. By the end of this year, 10 payment schemes – including Mastercard, Visa and NETS - will go live, with the remaining 10 to be implemented by August 2019.
FUNDING SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
Under the initiative, NETS will provide businesses with a terminal for card payments, as well as a QR 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 WR codes, a common bugbear in the e-payment ecosystem,” said Enterprise Singapore in a media release.
“In addition, merchants now need not liaise with different individual payment schemes and acquirers.”
READ: Grab launches e-payment platform in restaurants, hawker stalls
READ: NETS rolls out standardised QR code payments system at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Food Centre
EZ-Link cards can be used to pay for meals at hawker centre NETS terminals from April
Over the next three years, stall holders will not need to pay any monthly transaction fees for accepting e-payments, as the Government will provide funding support during this period.
After that, the monthly fee, or what’s known as merchant discount rate, will be 0.5 per cent. This is below the average industry rate of between 2 per cent and 5 per cent, said Enterprise Singapore.
Payment transactions will be credited directly into the merchant’s bank account within one day after close of business, for transactions made before 11pm, said the agency.
It added that transactions made via American Express, Mastercard and Visa will be credited within two days after close of business.
"In Singapore, about 40 per cent 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 deputy chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore Ted Tan.
The agency hopes that 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centres and 20 industrial canteens would adopt the unified e-payment system in the next two years.