QR code payment is no longer limited to food merchants and hawker centres, and it seems Singapore is now expanding its cashless movement to include healthcare institutions.
Local bank DBS said on Monday (Nov 11) that it is working with public healthcare providers – National Healthcare Group (NHG), National University Health System (NUHS) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) – to implemet SGQR, a national unified payment code, at all public hospitals, specialty centres and polyclinics by end 2020.
As of Monday (Nov 11), SGQR has been made available at the first batch of 27 public hospitals, specialty centres and polyclinics, DBS said in a media statement.
Citing SingHealth, DBS said that one in five consumers currently pays medical bills in cash or cheque. The new implementation will encourage a gradual shift towards digital payments in these public healthcare institutions.
Launched in 2018, SGQR is the world’s first common QR code. It unifies a multitude of payment options available in Singapore including DBS PayLah!, PayNow and Alipay, DBS said.
All a consumer needs to do is scan the SGQR code at the counter and key in their bill reference number before selecting their preferred e-payment option, DBS said.
Raof Latiff, DBS’ head of digital, institutional banking, said that the unification of multiple QR codes gives healthcare institutions and consumers greater freedom of choice regarding payment platforms.
“With Singapore’s ageing population, having an easy-to-use digital payment method like SGQR is a progressive step to encourage wider e-payment adoption across various age demographics,” he said.
Lim Yee Juan, group chief financial officer at NHG added that the adoption of the SGQR will help “our patients and caregivers save time in the bill payment process, as well as optimise service levels at our hospitals and polyclinics”.