Seah Kian Peng, CEO of FairPrice, with Peter Maher, Visa group country manager, Southeast Asia at a FairPrice store in Singapore
Shoppers at Singapore's leading retail chain FairPrice can now wave their Visa payWave cards and reduce their waiting time at the check-out by half.
Inaugurating the Visa contactless payments technology rollout today at a FairPrice store in City Square Mall, Seah Kian Peng, CEO of FairPrice, said that all the 116 of its outlets in Singapore are equipped with the 'pay, wave and go' technology.
"We started our relationship with Visa cards two years ago," he told the media. "Given the pace of today's life, speed is important and our new initiative will enable our customers to have faster and hassle-free transactions."
With Visa payWave, the card doesn't need to be swiped by the sales assistant, and no signature or PIN (Personal Identification Number) is required for purchases under S$100, which makes it a faster way to pay while still being a secure Visa transaction.
Nearly 30 percent of FairPrice customers pay by credit card.
Before implementing Visa payWave acceptance across all stores, FairPrice ran a pilot programme in February 2013 to test receptiveness among its customers. After observing a popular uptake, FairPrice made the decision to install Visa payWave terminals at all of its outlets. In April this year, FairPrice decided to roll out the Visa payWave at all their outlets throughout Singapore. This process was completed in June.
This rollout by FairPrice marks one of the largest implementations of contactless payment acceptance by a local retailer, said Peter Maher, Visa group country manager, Southeast Asia. This will lend momentum to the mass adoption of the technology in Singapore, he added.
Even though the technology is new, Visa payWave is just as secure as paying with Visa credit or debit cards - but faster, said Maher.
"There are many new technologies coming up and this prepares the ground work for technologies like mobile payments," he said.
"With major retail brands like FairPrice onboard as Visa payWave merchants, we anticipate the volume of contactless payments to grow and Visa payWave transactions to account for one in ten face-to-face payments by the end of this year," said Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager, Singapore and Brunei.
Earlier this year, the number of Visa payWave cards issued in Singapore hit a major milestone with more than one million cards issued, said Maher. We hope to hit the two million figure by this year's end, he said.
There are currently more than 12,000 Visa payWave retail acceptance points across the country.
FairPrice has spent an unspecified amount of money to upgrade its point of sale system to make it Visa payWave ready.
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