According to hawkers at the latest “Smart Nation” hawker centre at Pasir Ris Central, owner NTUC Foodfare delayed cashless payment by more than 5 months. Hawker stall owners also complained about the cleanliness of the new hawker centre, with cleaning contractors hired by NTUC not meeting basic expectations.
The hawkers complained to state media The New Paper that they each pays S$4,000 to S$5,000/month, including S$850 for dishwashing, S$550 for table-clearing, and $150 for the cashless payment service.
Another key gripe being the cashless payment disbursed only after 1½ months. Regarding the 5 months delayed payment, NTUC said this is because the system was “unstable” and that the transaction records were in a mess. NTUC defended the cleanliness of the hawker centre and insisted the place is very clean.
The “Smart Nation” hawker centre also sees very poor businesses, with 5 stalls closed after its opening in January this year. Earlier in April, a similar “Smart Nation” hawker centre at Yishun saw similar failure and poor reception due to its cashless system.