Payment Methods

Singapore Food Court Chain First To Embrace Contactless With Visa payWave

Visa is trying to entice customers in Singapore to use their payWave digital payment method by giving them breaks when they use it at Food Republic food courts — the first food court chain in Southeast Asia to accept contactless payment methods.

Visa payWave customers will get an S$1 break for every S$6 they spend at the food court. They have to select the digital payment method at food courts in 15 outlets participating as of the start of August. Visa payWave is a payment option the credit card issuer launched in June, which lets users tap their Visa credit cards to pay for purchases.

Joyce Koh, group senior vice president of BreadTalk Group, which operates Food Republic, said in a report that the decision to team up with Visa is aimed at catering to the “changing demands of [their] customers who are increasingly digitally-savvy and embracing the cashless payment options.” The executive cited Visa’s 2015 Consumer Payments Attitudes Survey which demonstrated that two-thirds of survey respondents were keen on using contactless payments for food and drink purchases.

For Visa, the move is designed to get more customers to use payWave and for Food Republic it not only meets the needs of its customers, but it also aims to speed up the transactions and thus shortens the lines.

While Visa is moving full steam ahead with its deal in Singapore, it’s not clear what the adoption rate for contactless payments will actually look like, with some countries seeing a huge uptick in users while others are seeing slow adoption rates.

Take the U.K. for one example. One in 10 card transactions in the country are now contactless, while in Australia 66 percent of Australians understand contactless payments, with 53 percent saying they conduct at least one contactless payment per week. Meanwhile in Canada 75 percent of retailers accept contactless payments.

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