In Focus
TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Here's why Singapore’s food chains are ditching cash payments

Pizza Hut, Food Republic have embraced contactless payments.

Contactless payment is sweeping Singapore’s retail market, and the city-state’s food and beverage sector is right at the trend’s forefront.

Last May, Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia partnered with Mastercard to launch Pepper, a humanoid robot that would cater to customers’ orders and payments in-store.

“After pairing with MasterPass, Pepper will be able to assist cardholders by providing personalized recommendations and offers, additional information on products, and assistance in checking out and paying for items,” it added.

More recently, Visa announced that Breadtalk Group’s food atrium unit Food Republic will be the first food court chain in Southeast Asia to feature contactless payment. Visa shared that all 15 of Food Republic’s outlets islandwide will be equipped to accept contactless payments through Visa PayWave.

With cashless payments, Food Republic is expected to see speedier customer service and greater efficiency for its operating team.

“Food courts are a huge part of Singapore’s culture and many people frequent them every day. With Visa payWave introduced at Food Republic, customers no longer need to fumble for cash when paying and can look forward to a speedier service at the payment terminals,” commented Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei.

“Likewise, time-pressed service staff can attend to customers within a shorter time frame, which is especially critical during peak hours. With food courts now accepting Visa payWave, we believe this will accelerate Singapore’s goal in becoming a cashless society,” she added.

According to a 2015 Visa Consumer Payments Attitudes Survey, 2 in 3 respondents are interested in using contactless payment for their food and beverage purchases.

Joyce Koh, group senior vice-president of BreadTalk Group said, “With this latest offering at Food Republic, our customers are now able to make contactless and mobile payments at our 180 food and beverage outlets in Singapore across our bakery, food atrium and restaurant brands, thereby providing greater choice and enhancing their overall dining experience.”

Moreover, with contactless payments fast becoming the norm in Singapore, more and more customers are opting for convenient, fast and seamless payment solutions.

“Since the soft launch of Visa payWave at all of our Food Republic stalls in June, we have already seen growing usage of contactless payments and with the latest incentive, we expect even more of our customers will opt to use Visa payWave instead of cash,” shared Andy Kiu, general manager of Food Republic Singapore.

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