It’s been an interesting week for cashless payments with the well documented buzz surrounding Amazon Go and Starbucks, testing their cashierless and cashless stores respectively. Being the innovators of retail and coffee industry respectively, it’s definitely brought a shift in group think surrounding cashless payments. An earlier article last week shows some initial impressions on Amazon Go and the general consumer experience.
In Bangkok, the iconic Chatuchak market is proposed to go cashless from this June. Visitors of this market will soon be able to make cashless transactions using QR codes on their mobile phones. Also part of this project is automated parking spots, which should help alleviate congestion during peak shopping hours. This ambitious project will be of great news to shoppers, local businesses and mobile manufacturers alike, with the smartphone market estimated to grow to 30 million users by 2022. It will be interesting to watch this project unfold.
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This week also sees a continued uptake in Singapore’s foray into a cashless economy. The industry has seen incredible growth over the past 2 years with cashless payments accounting for 4 out of every 10 transactions . In collaboration with major financial services providers (Mastercard, Visa, Alipay, American Express, DBS etc) the open loop QR payments eco-system is set to eliminate cash by 2019. The deadline is very aggressive and ambitious, and may even sound lofty, but not be impossible, thanks to the ease of implementing QR based payments. It will be interesting to monitor developments in Singapore as it could potentially be a template for developing countries looking to transition into a cashless economy.
Taking a lead from Amazon, Starbucks and Uber, Houston restaurants are looking to embrace cashless payments. Restaurant owners are trying to limit their use of cash registers in a bid to save time and money. One very positive take on cashless payments by Peli Peli kitchen’s owner, stating that cashless payments would help improve quality of life for his employees by reducing the hours spent in counting cash. Restaurant employees would be able to leave early and cash holding cost for restaurant owners would also reduce.