How will technology change our culture?

South-east Asia’s largest bank DBS will be giving out red paper with a unique QR code printed on it to encode cash from Jan 25, 2019.PHOTO: DBS

The ST article we posted on Facebook recalled a somewhat poor response from Singaporeans adopting e-angpaos last year – only a meagre 100 000 e-red packet funds transfer took place, making it harder for anyone to “envision a cashless Chinese New Year (CNY) in the future.”

In response to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s call to reduce the use of new notes during CNY to minimise wastage, several banks have stepped up to make digitalisation more attractive to their clients. Given that “more than 40 million notes are incinerated yearly”, it is a laudable effort not just to promote the adoption of technology, but also doing our part in conservation.

Perhaps to slowly ease Singaporeans into using e-angpaos, “DBS will be giving out red paper with a unique QR code printed on it to encode cash.” With that, Singaporeans can still give out paper angpaos, but skip the notes and instead, use the red paper with a QR code. At the same time, “Citibank will also launch a new e-hongbao feature in the Citi Mobile app to allow fund transfers via PayNow. “

It appears that Singapore still has a long way to go before we become the Smart Nation that PM Lee Hsien Loong envisioned in this 2017 National Day Rally Speech. In line with his observation then that “China has gone the furthest with e-payments”, Lightspeed Research also found that “80 per cent of [PRC] respondents [say] that they would choose to send digital red packets through a mobile app.”

Unsurprisingly, the same survey revealed that 98% of Singaporeans still preferred the conventional paper angpaos.

What do you think are some reasons for this? Feel free to email us or share your responses below.

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