Photo of Yishun Park Hawker Centre from Today

Patrons at the new Yishun Park hawker centre are seeing severe inconvenience and confusion due to the new cashless payment transaction and tray-return system. According to state media Today, a diner has to pay S$1 more as deposit to get a tray, which they can get a refund if they return them at a far corner of the hawker centre. This has caused much unhappiness among the patrons and some are confused why they have to pay S$1 more just to get a tray. Many patrons registered their protest against the tray-return deposit system by leaving the cutlery and bowls on the tables, returning only the tray to get their S$1 back. The end result being the tables as cluttered as without having the S$1 deposit system.

Food at the hawker centre is also charged 10% higher for cash payment, and that they can only get the full price when they download and use the phone application to make payment. Elderly Singaporeans complained that they do not know how to use the application or charge credit. Some elderly do not even have a bank card, and ended up having to pay 10% more for cash payment.

Since the hawker centre’s opening on Sep 20, there already have been several days of technical glitches in the QR code payment system where transactions are not being recorded.

PAP MP for Yishun Louis Ng told state media reporters that he “takes the complaints in his stride” and said that it is only “a teething period” like the SMRT breakdowns resulting from the new signalling system.