This article originally appeared on Vulcan Post.
McDonalds has announced that they are now accepting Visa Paywave in all outlets. That includes more than 120 outlets in Singapore.
According to McDonalds, Visa payWave transactions were rolled out as early as December last year, and since then, they have already accounted for more than one in ten face-to-face Visa transactions.
The concept behind Visa payWave is simple: instead of handing a card over or fumbling for cash, you simply tap your card on the sensor, and the transaction is over in under a minute. This helps to reduce transaction as well as queue time.
You might recognize it from this well known commercial.
Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, said, “With the Visa payWave terminals being installed at the counters, we believe that this will also increase productivity as it allows the service staff to attend to the next customer within a shorter time frame, which is crucial especially during peak hours for a quick service restaurant.”
McDonald’s has been among one of the first fast food chains in Singapore to step up its tech game. As of last year, they have set up self-serving kiosks in their Suntec outlet that accept Visa, Mastercard, and NETS flashpay. They already accept Nets Flashpay in most outlets, though cash is still the more popular mode of payment.
Why don’t more people use Visa payWave?
As mobile wallets loom on the horizon, card-based tap-to-pay methods are still struggling to take off in Singapore. But with most working adults being in possession of credit cards, why is it that Visa payWave is not taking off as much as it should?
While a study by Visa (via SuperAdrianMe) has shown that Visa payWave has taken off in The Philippines and Thailand, widespread preference to contactless payments in Singapore still lags behind them, despite awareness of the technology. (To its credit, Visa clarifies that it the second highest adoption of Visa payWave globally behind Australia.)
One possible reason is that Singapore is still in the grips of the Asian Cash Culture, where the preference of paper over plastic still dominates. Studies have shown that Asians are still holding on to cash, partly from habit and partly from a distrust in the system. And this rigidity in behaviour is what’s standing between us and quicker, faster transactions and shorter queues.
Consumers in the US are already beginning to adopt the mobile wallet medium in stores, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. But at the speed that Singapore is going, it’s safe to say that it’s pretty unlikely for us to see mobile payment being made available anytime soon.
So the next time you’re in McDonalds’, perhaps you’ll think twice before you reach for your cash, and think about using your Visa card instead. Otherwise, you have no reason to complain about the long queues.