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Singapore to roll out automated tray return systems at hawker centers

30 January 2018
Today Online, Singapore

+ Official Coverage on Singapore’s Today Online website

Singapore to roll out automated tray return systems at hawker centers

As Singapore continues its drive to promote cashlessness, automated tray return systems might soon become a regular sight at hawker centers. Customers will be asked to make cash deposits which are refundable when they return their trays. Would customers be willing to accept digital refunds? Japnit Singh, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Spire Research and Consulting, shared his viewpoint, published in Today Online’s news portal.

Automated tray return systems could be rolled out across 25 hawker centers. Patrons going to hawker centers such as the ones in Marsiling Mall and Bukit Merah will have to shell out cash to make deposits of SGD0.50 and SG1 respectively for each tray they take. These deposits would be refunded upon the return of the tray.

In a separate development, Ez-Link cardholders can also use their cards to pay for drinks and food at 1,000 stalls in over 30 hawker centers from April.

An integrated cashless hawker center experience may entice customers to forego cash transactions altogether. However, Japnit cautioned against totally eliminating cash as a payment option, since cards can go missing or be stolen. Acceptance of digital refunds might still not be perceived as credible.

Concern over cash deposits for trays is another challenge. Customers fear the machine might not work. It was noted that seniors might be less comfortable going completely cashless.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Nidhi Singh
Manager, Group Corporate Communications
Spire Research and Consulting
Phone: (91) 124 646 5499
E-mail: nidhi.singh@spireresearch.com

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