In 2017 National Day Rally, one of the main topics that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke was on making Singapore a smart nation. This made sense as countries like China had supercede us in electronic payment way back. On July 10, seven banks had came together to offer a PayNow system for people who want to receive payments electronically will have to link their mobile and NRIC numbers to their accounts.
Since the programme’s pilot a year ago, some 6,000 POSB Smart Buddy watches have been issued to students, with 2,000 watches issued in the last two months alone. The watch helps children take an early step towards digital payments and also monitors their activity levels. Parents can in turn remotely pre-set their child’s daily allowance, send them emergency money, and monitor their kids’ spending, savings, eating habits and activity levels – all with an accompanying app.
The programme further creates a digital payments ecosystem within the school where the school’s canteens and bookstores are set up with digital payment terminals. Students can simply tap and pay with their POSB Smart Buddy watches. Kiosks are also set up on school grounds, allowing students to scan their watches so they can instantly check on their remaining allowance for the day. The POSB Smart Buddy programme is fully subsidised by POSB.
1) Teaching students how to save and manage expenses: Daily transactions are tracked on the POSB Smart Buddy app (with a three-month transaction history provided), so students can monitor their savings and spending patterns over time. Students can create their own savings goals on the app, with completed goals recorded as badges. They can also buy digital Smiley Stamps at 50 cents each at their school bookstore to complete their digital stamp savings card. Once the card is complete, the savings will be automatically transferred to their POSBkids savings account. Finally, students can also use the watch to pay for purchases at all merchants with NETS contactless terminals, such as POPULAR bookstores.
2) Greater convenience for parents, coupled with security: Parents can link their savings account with the POSB Smart Buddy app and effectively manage their child’s spending by setting a daily allowance limit. They can also view their child’s purchases in real-time, and increase the daily allowance limit remotely for emergency spending money. Accumulated savings can be automatically transferred into their child’s POSBkids account. If the child loses their watch, parents can remotely disable the devices in an instant.
3) Fitness and health tracking: The POSB Smart Buddy watch also doubles as a fitness tracker and can track students’ daily steps, distance travelled, and calories burnt. Parents can in turn check in their child’s fitness using the app.
4) Financial assistance scheme (FAS) support: Working with schools, the programme automatically credits students on FAS with their subsidies and allowances – replacing the usual coupons or vouchers. Support is therefore provided discreetly to needy students.
5) (Upcoming features) Location tracker and biometric feature: The programme may soon feature an in-school locator, which allows parents to track their child’s location within the school compound (canteen, library, classroom, etc.), and a school bus locator where parents can track the real-time location of the bus and be notified when their child boards or alights from the school bus. Both features are currently in the testing phase. Plans are also underway to introduce a biometric payment solution, to provide an even simpler payment journey.
Read how Singaporean working mum, Claudia Lim, shares how the POSB Smart Buddy programme is helping her two daughters learn the value of money, cashless.https://www.dbs.com/