Photo of Mark Castry, UOB and Sylvia Goh, CapitaLand Investment.
CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups. Headquartered in Singapore, CapitaLand’s portfolio focuses on real estate investment management and real estate development, and spans across more than 260 cities in over 40 countries.
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Through its Smart Nation initiative, the Singapore Government has been promoting the use of technology to effect transformation in all aspects of Singaporeans’ lives. However, despite the wide variety and availability of cashless payment methods in the market, Singapore remains a resolutely cash-based society in certain segments. To drive adoption of e-payment services, PayNow was introduced as a real-time peer-to-peer funds transfer mechanism in 2017. However, it was not until the pandemic struck that an accelerated transition to this new digital payment landscape was experienced with the broader adoption and usage of PayNow, digital wallets and QR Code payment alternatives.
With the Singapore Government heavily promoting digital payment mechanisms, CapitaLand sought a way to leverage this nationwide initiative, further embedding the cashless shopping experience in its malls. CapitaLand, the largest mall operator in Singapore, rolled out the CapitaStar app, providing its mall patrons with a convenient channel to utilise electronic vouchers (eCapitaVouchers) to pay for purchases in CapitaLand’s participating mall retailers, and earn reward points.
“With the Singapore Government providing Singaporeans cash payments/bonuses in the form of LifeSG credits through its LifeSG app, we looked for a way to collaborate in this initiative that would help drive both initiatives forward,” explains Reuben Yong, Head, Digital Platforms (Retail & Workspace), CapitalLand Investment Singapore.
The LifeSG initiative allows Singapore Government agencies to issue credits to Singaporeans in the form of LifeSG points, which can be spent at any merchant accepting PayNow payments. CapitaLand worked with its trusted partner bank, UOB, to set up an API-linked payment mechanism on its CapitaStar app, which enabled the company to accept PayNow payments (via QR Code) for the purchase of eCapitaVouchers that could be used at over 2,800 CapitaLand mall retailers across Singapore. Leveraging this solution, the CapitaLand team collaborated with the LifeSG team to enable a pathway between the LifeSG app and the CapitaStar app, allowing LifeSG credits to be converted into eCapitaVouchers.
“By enabling this new payment option, we are able to avail the popular eCapitaVoucher programme to Singaporeans who receive Government benefits in the form of LifeSG credits,” says Yong.
The enablement of PayNow on the CapitaStar app is a testament of CapitaLand’s commitment to the Smart Nation agenda, while also providing a low-cost payment alternative to the more traditional credit card payment options. This facilitates the balancing of both commercial and societal objectives. Further, in view of the aggressive timelines for the initial rollout of the LifeSG pilot for the Ministry of Defence, CapitaLand’s development team worked in close coordination with UOB to push forward the implementation go-live date in time for the launch of the pilot Ministry of Defence rollout. The LifeSG pilot supported the NS55 Recognition Package, which celebrates the 55th anniversary of national service, and awarded SG$100 worth of LifeSG credits to all eligible Singapore national servicemen. As the Singapore Government continues to expand its LifeSG rewards programme across other government agencies, CapitaLand will be able to continue to collaborate to avail its eCapitaVoucher programme by leveraging its existing relationship as a key LifeSG partner.
By leveraging PayNow and collaborating with the Government for the LifeSG initiative, CapitaLand availed a popular channel for Singaporeans to utilise its LifeSG credits. A robust marketing campaign via mobile, web and physical channels was rolled out across its broad customer base, making a compelling case for users to enjoy the benefits of both LifeSG credits and a CapitaStar app enabled with PayNow.
Return on investment (ROI).
Increased system connectivity.
Future proof solution.
Exceptional implementation (budget/time).
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