Cashless, cardless, Suntec City

Left your wallet at home and need to make a purchase? You can now “beam” your ID and PIN number with your infrared or bluetooth-enabled handphone to a device connected to the register and your transaction is completed without cash or card. Starting this month, Suntec City will be making this new shopping experience a reality. Read on to find out how.
Written by Joan Teo, Contributor
Come March 2002, Suntec City will become the first shopping centre in Singapore and in Asia where shoppers can enjoy a ‘cashless’ and ‘card-less’ shopping experience. Only a handphone will be needed for storefront transactions.

TelePay is one of the latest initiatives that Suntec has deployed as a FSP. FSP (Facilities Service Provider) is a revolutionary business concept adopted by Suntec City with a vision to transform the traditional role of a landlord to that of a business partner with its tenants and vendors through strategic partnership, business alliance and constructive connectivity. It enhances the value of its development by providing a platform to bring together a strategic mix of companies. FSP harnesses the diversified talents and resources of these companies to provide a common technology infrastructure and business backbone so as to reap mutual benefits, productivity and profitability.

To realize this vision, Suntec has established strategic alliances with e-payments facilitator Systems@Work, Gemplus, HP Mobile e-Services Bazaar and VISA International since October 2001. This consortium of five partners received the Award of Mobile Payment Solutions from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to deploy a nation-wide mobile payment system for Singapore.

Simple, secure and convenient
From the onset, Suntec’s objectives are clear: to provide shoppers at Suntec City with the freedom and convenience of paying for their purchases via handphones at participating retail outlets without the need for cash or credit cards. TelePay was developed as the answer.

When making a purchase, the shopper simply beams his or her TeleMoney ID and PIN number to the cashier’s POS via the infrared or bluetooth-enabled handphone. An e-receipt will be issued once the transaction is processed. Shoppers can choose to pay through their preferred way of payment such as credit card, bank account direct debit or stored value card as TelePay supports multiple payment methods.

Security, being a pre-requisite for the adoption of this system, is a key focus of the solution. Shoppers can transact with TelePay with a total peace of mind as the TeleMoney ID, the PIN and the handphone are needed before a transaction can be authorized. The transaction process is fortified with security from point to point.

Making Business Sense and Cents
Besides being affordable and viable, TelePay will help retail merchants to boost their bottom line and provide better service to their customers.

Operated via a low and one-off cost MAD (Merchant Accepting Device), retailers can save an estimate of 60% of total annual terminal infrastructure costs. As this device is easy to use, the training for staff is hardly required. There is minimal change to the way in which merchants conduct their business as the payment solution integrates seamlessly into their existing business infrastructures.

The pilot phase will be implemented in March. The response from merchants has been positive and affirmative.

Said Richard Kang, Managing Partner of Satay Fusion, “There are a lot of requests for cashless payment and cash card payment in my shop. Because we are selling fast food, we try to avoid the credit card and NETS as we find it a hindrance to operation flow. But TelePay is a better way of payment. Suntec is a place filled with IT-savvy people, many of who don’t like to carry cash around. It’s easier to get these people to just pay by the phone.”

“We should actively promote m-commerce in Suntec City. I would like to adopt TelePay as it fits the image that I would like to be associated with - a shop at the forefront of technology. TelePay is a very exciting programme and I am optimistic that the take-up rate will be good,” said Calvin Kwok of The Contact Shop.

“The shopping experience at Suntec will never be the same again.” said Patrick Lum, Marketing General Manager, Suntec City Development Pte Ltd. “With TelePay, shopping here will be more secure and more convenient than anywhere else in Singapore. We look forward to making this a reality.”

Joan Teo is Information Technology Manager at Suntec City Development Pte Ltd.

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