Singapore is going full steam ahead in its move to promote e-payments. But unless small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up 99% of all businesses, adopt e-payment systems, cash will still be king.

SINGAPORE (Oct 7): Although Singapore has a digitally savvy population and the right ingredients to be a cashless society, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in 2017 the city state still lagged behind in e-payments. This was largely due to having too many different schemes and payment systems that did not interact, making it inconvenient for consumers and costly for businesses. Speaking at that year’s National Day Rally, Lee said efforts were underway to change that, citing the example of China’s being a leader in e-payments.

In his speech, he highlighted how technology had changed the retail industry entirely as the rest of the world was changing. “Unless we change with it, we will fall behind. Singapore must always stay with the leaders to attract talent and business, to live up to our own expectations of what we ought to be and can be.”

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