SINGAPORE (Nov 11): From Nov 11, consumers at 27 public hospitals, specialty centres and polyclinics across Singapore can pay for their bills through the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR).

This is the first phase of the move to transition all public hospitals, specialty centres and polyclinics to the nation’s unified payment code by end 2020.

DBS Bank is working with Singapore’s three public healthcare clusters – the National Healthcare Group (NHG), National University Health System (NUHS) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) – on the payment infrastructure.

To encourage the move towards a cashless and chequeless society, a phased approach will be adopted to gradually shift consumer behaviour towards digital payments.

“The unification of multiple QR codes into SGQR provides healthcare institutions and their customers greater freedom in the choice of payment platforms,” says Raof Latiff, Head of Digital, Institutional Banking, DBS Bank.

“With Singapore’s ageing population, having an easy-to-use digital payment method like SGQR is a progressive step to encourage wider e-payment adoption across various age demographics,” he adds.

Lim Yee Juan, group chief financial officer at NHG, sees the transition to SGQR as another way to improve the patient and caregiver experience.

“The adoption of SGQR reinforces our ethos of bolstering patient-centred care and population health through technology. We believe that SGQR will help our patients and caregivers save time in the bill payment process, as well as optimise service levels at our hospitals and polyclinics,” says Lim.

DBS has also been working closely with statutory boards and corporate clients over the last 12 months to educate and encourage them to transition towards SGQR.

“Payment transaction volumes via SGQR have been increasing steadily since its launch last year. Today, more than 32,000 SGQR codes have been deployed, representing one in five retail acceptance points nationwide,” says Latiff.