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Media Releases
12 Sep 2018 Updated 12 Sep 2018

Unified e-Payment Solution for Coffee Shops, Hawker Centres & Industrial Canteens

MR No.: 026/18

Singapore, Wednesday, 12 September 2018

1. Following a call for collaboration in April 2018 for a commercially viable, interoperable and open access e-payment solution for coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens, Enterprise Singapore, together with the Housing and Development Board (HDB), National Environment Agency (NEA) and JTC Corporation (JTC) have appointed NETS as the master acquirer[1]. Under the terms of the appointment, food businesses have to operate at the premises of the aforementioned government agencies in order to be eligible.

2. “In Singapore, about 40% of dining occasions take place at coffee shops, hawker centres and canteens. With technology becoming such an integral part of our urban lifestyles, the government is enhancing the dining experience by providing customers with a unified e-payment solution where transactions can be made easily, quickly and securely. Merchants too, will benefit as they will now have a cost-effective and productive model to accept and process e-payments from customers and suppliers,” said Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore.

Customers: Choose from 20 payment schemes

3. The initiative will see customers benefitting from a breadth of 20 payment schemes, which includes widely-used CEPAS transport cards such as EZ-Link, concession cards and NETS FlashPay, as well as mobile payment applications. The schemes will be rolled out progressively in two phases[2]. The first batch of 10 payment schemes will go LIVE by the end of this year. By August 2019, customers dining at coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens can choose from all 20 payment schemes through unified touchpoints.

Merchants: Benefit from an interoperable system, lower merchant discount rate and quicker transaction credit

4. Merchants will be given a terminal for card payments and an SGQR code to accept and process transactions from the 20 payment schemes. The appointment of a master acquirer will also eliminate the need for multiple terminals or quick response (QR) codes, a common bugbear in the e-payment ecosystem. In addition, merchants now need not liaise with different individual payment schemes and acquirers.

5. Under the initiative, a merchant discount rate (MDR[3]) of 0.5% for monthly payment transactions was agreed upon. This is below the average industry MDR of between 2% and 5%. The government will provide funding support over three years[4], bringing down the MDR to 0%. NETS will also waive the terminal rental fee for merchants. Such public-private sector collaboration aims to generate sufficient scale and widespread use of e-payments across coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens.

6. Payment transactions will be credited directly into the merchant’s bank account within one day after close of business, for transactions made before 11PM. Transactions made via American Express, Mastercard and Visa will be credited within two days after close of business. Transaction receipts will be consolidated into a single report by the master acquirer.

7. Merchants will also be offered the option of integrating their e-payment terminal with their point of sales (POS) system where applicable, to better measure sales performance and consumer purchase behaviour.

8. More information on the initiative such as application details will be released in the near term.

Target implementation

9. In the next two years, this initiative targets to have the e-payment solution to be adopted across 200 coffee shops, 25 hawker centres and 20 industrial canteens.


Annex 1: Overview of the unified e-payment solution for coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens


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 [1] A master acquirer refers to the appointed entity that handles the payment transactions of merchants across the multiple payment schemes. The entity will act as the main touch point to accept e-payments and facilitate reconciliation of accounts and earnings with participating merchants.

[2] Refer to Annex 1 for the list of 20 payment schemes and their corresponding onboarding schedule

[3] Merchant discount rate refers to the fee paid by the merchant to the acquirer for the payment transactions they receive. MDR should be calculated based on the gross total value of payment transactions.

[4] Under the terms of the appointment, food businesses are eligible for funding support if they sign up with NETS by August 2020




 Annex 1: Overview of the unified e-payment solution for coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens

 E-payments for food businesses


For media enquiries, please contact:

Fizzah Rahman

Corporate Communications

DID: +65 9232 9340

Email: fizzah_rahman@enterprisesg.gov.sg



About Enterprise Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. Our vision for Singapore is a vibrant economy with globally competitive Singapore enterprises.

International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING came together on 1 April 2018 as a single agency to form Enterprise Singapore. Our mission is to grow stronger Singapore companies by building capabilities and accessing global opportunities, thereby creating good jobs for Singaporeans.

We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups. As the national standards and accreditation body, we continue to build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards.

Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.