Last year, I made a trip to Hangzhou and we went to this popular restaurant early to beat the lunch crowd.
I remember being surprised that there was no menu and to access the menu, all we need to do is scan a QR code into our Wechat app and the menu will appear in our smartphone. We can then order using our smart phones and even pay using Wechat.
I was very much impressed with what I saw and when I came back to Singapore, I quickly got hold of my friends in the payment portal industry to see if we can replicate this here.
"Bro, cannot lah. NETS control everything here" was the sad reply I got.
Fast forward a year later, it finally looks like I'm not the only one impressed and the powers that be are now pushing for us to be truly cashless.
The irony is, I think we were way ahead of the race once. If memory serves me correctly, we were one of the first few countries in Asia Pacific to have a mode of cashless payment (NETS). But like this article says, the costs involved in going cashless has put off mass adoption over the years.
So much so we are playing catch up now when we should have been forerunners instead. Hopefully, we can still beat the tortoise that started slower than us.