News flash: You no longer have to hold an American Express card to enjoy the perks of Apple Pay. Now, you can get in on all the mobile payment fun because the mobile payment system has now been extended to include POSB, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Standard Chartered Bank.
Lugging our massive wallets out the house would soon become something of irrelevance, and we won’t have to call our friends/dates bluff if they ‘forgot’ to bring their wallets to the restaurant.
Given the sheer number of iPhone users and preference for cashless payments, the convenience of finger ID-ing for a transaction is making ez-link and Visa payWave seem ancient by comparison. But there are only about 25 different eligible merchants right now and Apple Pay is still not as widely accepted as we’d like it to be. We’ve come up with a wish list of some places we hope will move to the Dark Side (or should it be Light?) and become Apple Pay converts.
With Zouk moving to its new premise at Clarke Quay, this party central is repositioned as the complete one-stop shop for your clubbing needs. What would be even more complete is if the major clubs were to ditch the traditional cover charge ticketing in favour of Apple Pay. Leave your barang, stresses of life and pocket change at the door. All you need for your Friday nights is your iPhone. Tap your way in to the dancefloor, tap the bar in exchange for a vodka mix and then tap your feet away.
2. Donations at Churches and Temples
Religious establishments and technology don’t usually go hand in hand, but how cool would it be if we only had to hover our Apple Watches over a contactless payment reader on our way out the temple? Imagine the day when you see hip aunties and uncles scan their Apple Watches at temples.
3. Exhibition Fairs
There is a great number of seasonal fairs being held in Singapore every year, such as the quarterly IT shows and the NATAS travel fair. These are also times when you would experience insufferable human traffic worse than MRTs at peak hours. The best-case scenario is when you get in, make your bargain buys and get out in one swift motion without being suffocated or, God forbid, pickpocketed. Most of the booths still operate on cash payments and with Apple Pay, the transactions would surely record higher efficiency.
4. Fast Food Outlets
If the first 25 participating merchants of Apple Pay is anything to go by, they are some of the more frequented stores by the general public. Yet none of the fast food joints are on the list. Not McDonald’s. Not Burger King, KFC nor MOS Burger. Not the hundreds of Korean fried chicken outlets. We would like to satisfy our craving for all things crispy and greasy, upsized with Apple Pay, please.
5. Independent Cafés
If you must pay for your morning fix using Apple Pay, only Starbucks and Coffee Bean support it at the moment. But not everyone is a fan of commercialised coffee that costs seven bucks a pop and consists more whipped cream and ice than actual caffeine. There are some discerning purists among us who could tell their Costa Rican blends from the Javas, and want their seven bucks worth the nursing as they watch the world go by. The burgeoning, or already burgeoned coffee scene in Singapore is probably in dire need to become more Apple-friendly.
6. Private Gyms
Singaporeans seem to be as obsessed about their fitness as they do their food. Come to think about it, they have quite a cause-effect correlation. Just look at the staggering number of kickboxing gyms, yoga studios and spinning classes that are mushrooming all around the island. With the exception of ActiveSG facilities, these gyms might very well kick up their signups if they can entertain walk-ins with Apple Pay.
7. Rental Facilities
You could be leasing a MPV during the Chinese New Year period, renting a bike at East Coast Park or paying multiple fines on overdue books borrowed from the library. If all outlets with rental services would make Apple Pay a reality now, guess what? You can save yourself the administrative hassle and do all the above three with either an iPhone or an Apple Watch strapped to your wrist.
While boys have their toys, girls have their cosmetics, which unmistakably make up a significant part of their shopping patterns. Sephora is one of the largest cosmetics retailers stocking close to 300 different brands of beauty products; once the ladies get to indulge in the novelty of snagging their MACs and Urban Decays with Apple Pay, the tills are going to be ringing off the hook.
Considering that Singapore is one of the most wired of wired societies, it is still rather astounding that some taxis only accept cash. Or, in unfortunate cases, the NETS machine decides to malfunction and you are forced to make a detour to the nearest ATM, while the paranoid driver sits wondering if you are ever coming back. Having Apple Pay set up in our local taxi fleets would be a seamless backup for these instances. Just thrust your Apple Watch-strapped hand forward to pay.
10. Tourist Spots
Yes, we’re looking at you. Singapore Flyer, Universal Studios, Night Safari and Hippo Duck Tour. And maybe you too, G-Max. Some of your tourists probably already come from countries with Apple Pay in full swing, and they probably also don’t want their wallets and pouches flying wild and free in the middle of those rides. Let their eWallets take all the damage, they’ll greatly appreciate it.
Bonus: Erm, you know, just about every other restaurant in Singapore.
Singaporeans. Foodies. Eating. iPhone. More eating. No cash. Pay. Burp.
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