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Singapore introduces Alipay to build Smart Nation

By Shan Xin  (People's Daily Online)    15:00, August 22, 2017

(Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is talking about Alipay during his National Day Rally on August 20 Photo/Chinanews.com)

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during his National Day Rally Sunday night that efforts to introduce Alipay, China’s leading e-payment platform, were underway, in a bid to transform Singapore into a Smart Nation, according to China News Service.

He illustrated China’s mature e-payment schemes with Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say in Shanghai a couple of years ago, when he lined up to buy chestnuts at a roadside vendor and saw people scanning QR codes to pay.

“When visitors from China find that they have to use cash here, they ask: ‘How can Singapore be so backward?’” Mr. Lee said.

Alipay was first introduced to Singapore in 2015. Now over 2,000 businesses support the payment system, including Universal Studios, Resorts World Sentosa, and Singapore Zoo, as well as Metro and Robinsons and other shopping malls.

ComfortDelGro, the largest taxi operator in Singapore included Alipay in all of its 15,000 cabs on July 12. The Straits Times reported that since then more than 10,000 transactions have been using Alipay. ComfortDelGro CEO Ang Wei Neng said hundreds of Alipay transactions are made daily and the company expects to see “thousands” in the near future.

The chairman of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce said Alipay should be encouraged in local businesses for the convenience of visitors and young people, as Chinese make up Singapore’s top-spending visitors, hitting an estimated $3.52 billion in 2016, according to The Straits Times.

Following China’s lead, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore rolled out a new service called PayNow in June, which links bank accounts to a person’s mobile number or ID to simplify transactions. Lee said there are plans to add QR functionality to PayNow and to make this form of payment available in more places.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shan Xin, Bianji)

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