Image source: Screenshot of Lianhe Zaobao video

Earlier on June, the Government had launched the Hawkers Go Digital programme, aiming to reach out and encourage 18,000 hawkers islandwide to adopt unified e-payment solution while helping them to minimise physical interaction and the handling of cash in the midst of COVID-19 period.

Under the programme, it was reported by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) that about 5,400 hawkers have offered the e-payment as of July 2020.

While the Government encouraging the hawkers to go for e-payment systems as it is convenient for both hawkers and eaters, the hawkers need to be aware of some deceitful individuals using the old screenshots of previous payment transactions to make their payment.

Lianhe Zaobao recently has conducted a “social experiment” with six hawkers in Chinatown complex’s hawker centre to see whether the hawkers would check the payments have indeed been made when the reporter showed the old screenshots of payment that was collected previously.

In a video published on its Facebook page on 21 October, Lianhe Zaobao’s reporter first collected the screenshots of e-payment transactions before ordering food from the hawkers.

After the reporter made the food order, the reporter paid with Nets Pay by scanning the QR code displaying at the stall, and then showed the hawkers the old screenshots of previous e-payment transactions.

Of those six hawkers, only two hawkers have noticed that the payment was not yet received while the others four hawkers did not notice it and just let the reporter walk away as they only looked quickly on the screen without confirmation.

The two hawkers who noticed it explained that they will be notified of the receipt or an incoming message of payment immediately if the payment has been made by the customer.

Despite some of the hawkers will check the payment transactions, there are also hawkers who mentioned that they are not familiar with the cashless payment system or simply have no time to check when they are busy with their businesses.

One of the hawkers told the reporter that he seldom checks on the e-payment transactions because most of his customers are regular customers, but if the customers really don’t want to pay, then he would just take it as if he offered them a treat.

Noting that the e-payment system is complicated, another hawker approached by Lianhe Zaobao also said that they do not understand the operation of the system and even the English words on the e-payment applications.

However, in tandem with the technological advancements, the hawkers agreed that it is good to promote the cashless payments which is more convenient and faster as well as safer for everyone especially during times likes this COVID-19 pandemic.


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