Nets Having New System to Prevent People From Using Screenshots to Pay Hawkers


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In October last year, local Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao conducted a social experiment at hawker centres.

As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the move to cashless payments, and more and more hawkers are offering e-payment options.

One such cashless payment method, Nets Pay, was used by a Zaobao reporter as she went around buying meals from hawkers.

Unbeknownst to the hawkers, however, this reporter had shown them an old screenshot of a previous payment after scanning the QR code.

Four of the six hawkers she tried it on fell for the ruse, as they just took a cursory glance at the reporter’s phone.

What’s more, many hawkers have since reported being the victims of such scams.

Now, Nets has decided to do something about it.

Nets Having New System to Prevent People From Using Screenshots to Pay Hawkers

To help hawkers combat scams, Nets will introduce enhancements for its cashless payment option, reported ST.

The NETSBiz App, used by hawkers for cashless payments, will soon include larger fonts, distinct payment alerts, and colours to indicate new transactions.

This will also help hawkers track their transactions easily.

The new features will be rolled out progressively from next month, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran during a visit to Whampoa Drive Hawker Centre on Friday (19 Feb).

“All of this is really designed based on feedback from the stallholders to make it easier for them to recognise that a transaction has in fact been recorded and executed,” he said.

“I think as we go forward we need to raise the education and awareness (of the risks involved), even as we promote the usage of (e-payments)”.

10,000 Hawkers Accepting E-payments

When you’ve skipped breakfast and you’re lining up to have your favourite bowl of Wanton Mee for lunch, every second can be torturous.

And for stallholders, cash transactions can hold up the line sometimes, especially when you’re digging for that one-dollar coin you swore you always had in your shoe.

That’s why so many hawkers are accepting cashless payments; 10,000 of them, in fact.


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And there are other reasons to go digital as well.

The Hawkers Go Digital scheme offers incentives of up to $1,500 to hawkers for adopting e-payments.

Over 7,400 have already been given this bonus, but the scheme aims to help all 18,000 stallholders here adopt the national e-payment system, the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR).

The goody news for hawkers is that the eligibility period for the financial incentive has been extended from 31 December last year to 31 May 2021.

Hawkers will only be willing to go digital if people stop scamming them, of course.


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At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself one question: is it really worth breaking the law and these hawkers’ hearts just to avoid paying $3 to $5 a meal?

Reader: Well, if you think about it, I believe-

The answer is no, dear reader. No.

Featured Image: Vichy Deal / Shutterstock.com