Singapore. Many hawkers in Singapore are insisting on cash payments due for a variety of reasons, including payment discrepancies and delayed transactions.
For instance, hawker Anthony Low decided to go back to cash-only transactions after trying to find discrepancies between earnings reported by his staff and received in his bank account for two months.
According to Low, he was put off by the issues that come with incorporating technology into a business that usually transacts in cash. Low owns three stalls that sell ngoh hiang prawn crackers. His staff monitors and records e-payments from his customers, but the amount they report is not the same as the numbers in his bank account.
Hawkers also cite the need for immediate cash as well as their lack of understanding of the technology. This is another reason why they prefer to transact in cash.
Hawker stalls usually use QR codes for real-time e-payments. However, many customers refuse to show proof of the transaction. Store owners and staff also mentioned that it’s easier to collect cash payments during busy hours.
“Sometimes there are Wi-Fi issues, like the phone is not working, all these things are happening on the ground,” said Low.
Two other problems hawkers face include transaction fees that cut into their profit margin, as well as cut-off times.
“Some of the transactions they take two or three days to come in. It’s not immediate so if I want to check my bank … I am unable to know (how much money I received that day),” he added.
That said, cash-only stalls only make up a small portion of hawkers in Singapore. Over 70% of cooked food stall holders in hawkers centres now accept e-payments.
Additionally, support is available at around 37 hawker centres to help them understand the technology better.
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