Digital Payments in Singapore
Singapore is one of the most advanced digital payment economies in Asia. Singapore is working on its ‘Smart Nation Vision’ which will help in creating an advanced payments ecosystem in the market. The Singaporeans, living in Asia’s financial capital, want a safe, secure, and world-class technology to make payments easier. This is exactly what is being achieved with FAST- which helps in making real-time transactions 24/7.
PM Loong’s vision
PM Lee Hsien Loong attended Camp Sequoia, an event for technology head honchos and disruptors by Sequoia Capital India, a venture capitalist firm. Talking to fellow attendants, he focused on the need for making technology a centerpiece for government, people and businesses which will help them seize new opportunities. He added that the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) intends to make Singaporean digital ecosystem stronger and more reliable.
Cheques and cash cost 0.52% of the Singaporean GDP. Consumers and even businesses still depend heavily on cash and cheques for payments. The adoption of digital payment methods has been slow. Moreover, support for such services is still lacking which makes digital penetration even more difficult. Singapore intends to make payments smart by 2020 which starts by developing great payment platforms, defining regulation, and finally ensuring that seamless operations help in making transactions easier.
Even businesses in Singapore avoid using instruments other than cash for want of liquidity. Moreover, access to FAST has a limit. This advanced technology is one of the first and finest in the world, but due to lower adoption rates with customers and businesses alike, it is unable to work on full capacity.
Measures to overcome hurdles
The government first needs to ensure that FAST is increasingly accept rapidly at POS (point-of-sale). They do this by providing incentives to both customers and businesses to go cashless. Moreover, they also need to focus on daily consumer items that cost less but are bought and sold in a significant volume each day. Creating a POS incentivized system will help in early adoption of the technology. The Payments Council must also look forward to ensure interoperability of these platforms that help in seamless transactions for the customers.
In globally changing circumstances, it is vital for Singapore to use new technology and foster its growth in digital payments. The government is also focusing on the idea of creating a national sensor system as well as national digital identity system on the lines of Estonia, which helps citizens in making seamless and secure transactions. A Global Innovation Network has also been recommend by the CFE for quicker development of these technologies and faster adoption.