The Hawkers Go Digital programme was introduced by DPM Heng Swee Keat during the Fortitude Budget in 2020. This was part of the government’s overall efforts to encourage all Singapore businesses to adopt more digital solutions and to use the crisis as a chance to transform their business as well.
What Is The Hawker Go Digital Programme?
The Hawkers Go Digital programme aims to reach out to and encourage 18,000 stallholders to adopt and accelerate the unified e-payment solution by June 2021. This unified e-payment solution was rolled out in June 2019, providing a single, inteoperable system, lower merchant discount rate (MDR) and quicker collections for hawkers.
By adopting the unified e-payment solution, stallholders will be able to minimise physical interaction and handling of cash. This served the purpose of reducing COVID-19 transmissions during 2020, but also potentially help stallholders gain productivity.
How Much Can Hawkers Expect To Receive? (Spoiler in the title: up to $1,500)
Hawkers (both new and existing on the scheme) who complete eligible transactions will receive a monthly E-payment Bonus of $300 for up to 5 months. Eligible transactions require hawkers to achieve more than 20 transactions of at least $1 in a month.
In total, stallholders stand to get up to $1,500. This is for transactions till 31 May 2021, which was an extension from the initial deadline of 31 December 2020. All applicable bonus – up to a total of $1,500 – will be paid by 30 June 2021, for transactions made in May 2021. The government will also bear transaction fees for three years.
For consumers, they are able to leverage on SGQR to pay via 27 schemes, including 19 on SGQR and 8 on the terminal.
What Are the Payment Schemes Accepted On The Unified E-Payment Scheme?
As mentioned, there are 27 supporting e-payment schemes that customers can pay for their ordered meals through. They include:
- American Express
- DBS PayLah
- Diners Club
- EZi Wallet
- Liquid Pay
- Singtel DASH
- Active Wallet
- And more
How Much Are Stallholders Charged For Each E-Payment Transaction?
Under the initiative to get hawkers to offer e-payments, a merchant discount rate of 0.5% for monthly payment transactions was agreed upon. In the beginning of the initiative, over three years, the government will provide funding support which brings the merchant discount rate to 0% for the hawkers.
NETS is the appointed master acquirer of the initiative, which means that it provides hawkers with the terminal. According to the IMDA website, NETS has also waived the terminal rental fee for hawkers.
How To Sign Up For The Hawker Go Digital Programme?
Digital ambassadors are being deployed to hawker centres, markets, coffee shops and canteens to encourage stallholder to adopt the unified e-payments solution. You can:
Step 1: Speak to one of the SG Digital Ambassador
Step 2: Sign up with your NRIC, current NEA or SFA License and Bank statement
Step 3: Get your E-payment Bonus with 20 or more transactions a month.
There’s a chance you may have missed the SG Digital Ambassadors, you can contact IMDA at [email protected] or call them at 6377 3800.
Many Hawkers Already Offering E-Payment Solutions
As of January 2021, the total number of adopters of the unified e-payment solution was already over 10,000. This comprises more than half of the hawkers in Singapore. A total of 1.2 million transactions worth $14 million was done in January, or more than 4 times the rate when the Hawkers Go Digital programme was launched in June 2020.
To encourage more customers to adopt e-payment, a lucky draw programme – Scan, Pay, Win – has also been extended to 30 April 2021. Upgrades to the system will also come onboard in March 2021, including larger font sizes and colour to help hawkers recognise completed transactions.
Hawkers, being part of the F&B industry, are also able to tap on other targeted support schemes provided by the government, including the Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB), which provides up to $10,000 for adopting digital solutions from pre-defined categories.
More recently, in the Budget 2021 announcement, DPM Heng also announced that the government will be giving all Singaporean households $100 CDC vouchers to be used at participating heartland shops and hawker centres, in support of heartland businesses. This will amount to nearly $150 million.
During the current Committee of Supply (COS) debate ongoing in parliament, MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, from Workers’ Party, also called for the reintroduction of the hardship scheme for hawker stalls.
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