Singapore embraces e-money

You won't need to carry cash around Singapore from 2008 - just pay for things using your PDA, phone or even your wristwatch

Paper money took its first step to becoming obsolete Tuesday with the announcement by Singapore that e-money will be legal tender in Singapore by 2008.

The island's government said it plans to give electronic payment the same legal status as cash starting 2008.

Government officials hope the move will provide a boost to Singapore's economy by reducing costs associated with cash handing. It follows other high-tech schemes -- including a plan to connect every home, school, office and government business on the island to a high-speed broadband Internet network.

Associated Press news site Ananova reported that Low Siang Kok, currency director at Singapore's Board Commissioners of Currency, thinks that many benefits will come from dispensing with traditional currency.

"If you want to give it to your kids for pocket money, you pass it on to them by phone. They can use it for bus fare, or the school cafeteria, or whatever," Low said adding that e-money was also safer than carrying cash.

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