How important is it for digital government services to be user friendly? As far as the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) is concerned, we are committed to transform the traditional delivery of digital government services by keeping Singaporeans at the heart of our government services.
Often, people seek government services because they need to. Rarely, these encounters are driven by self-directed initiatives to make contact. And regardless whether the experiences are pleasant and productive or not, they have little choice but to return.
NO WRONG DOORS
It is a fact that government services are quite different from commercial services. People are likely to log on to Netflix because they want to, whereas they are most likely to log on to government services only when the need arises.
MORE SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE
In spearheading the digital transformation within the public sector, a shift from an inside-out to an outside-in approach is inevitable.
READY ACCESS ALWAYS
Consistent with this principle is also the enhancement of the SingPass service to bring greater ease and control to Singaporeans.
In the eighties, Singapore took its rst step towards becoming a cashless society with electronic payment innovations like enabling salaries to be credited directly to bank accounts and retail card payments via the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card.
AN EARLY ADOPTER OF ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS
Singapore’s push towards becoming a cashless society began as far back as 1985, with the introduction of General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) and NETS Electronic Fund Transfers at Point of Sale (EFTPOS). GIRO was ground- breaking in enabling bill payments electronically and receipt of salaries through direct credit to bank accounts, and NETS EFTPOS allowed consumers to make purchases with just an ATM card and Personal Identification Number (PIN).
In 1996, Singapore was also one of the first countries to introduce an electronic prepaid card on a nationwide basis with the NETS CashCard. Through the 2000s, rapid advances in Internet technologies, applications and mobile services enabled electronic payment solutions to become more pervasive. At NETS, this period was marked by the launch of eNETS, which facilitates online payments via credit card or debit card on merchant websites, and the contactless NETS FlashPay card for transit and retail payments.
LOYAL SUPPORTERS OF CASH
However, despite the wide variety and availability of cashless payment methods in the market, Singapore remains a resolutely cash-based society in certain segments.
A Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)-commissioned KPMG study in 2016 found that cash is used in 60% of all non-stored value facility transactions, making it the second most widely used payment instrument in the country. Cash is also the preferred payment method for small-value transactions, be it at hawker centres, provision shops or for taxi fares.
Since cash has worked well for Singaporeans, why then the insistence on going cashless?