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How does phasing out Kopitiam card affect users, especially seniors? TODAY readers weigh in

Should Kopitiam retain its physical cards? TODAY readers discussed the topic this week, after FairPrice Group — which runs the food court and coffee shop chain — said that it would be phasing out the card come June 30. Users will need to use its mobile app instead to enjoy a discount.


“The card doesn’t need battery or data to operate. I can pass it to my family members to buy what they want to eat when we dine together at Kopitiam. With the handphone, they can’t remember my lock screen pattern.” MCFRANCIS LIM

“Cards are already deemed as cashless. They can always keep the physical cards and convert them to account-based ones with cloud-based stored value, like the new Ez-link cards.” JASON GOH

“Consumers should be given a choice to use the card or app.” GARY HAN

“All the card needs is the top-up amount, no need for Wi-Fi, data or battery.” DEVAN KANNAN

“Physical card please. Too many apps: Banking, hospital, government organisation, telco… my elderly dad’s fingers keep trembling whenever he tries to hit the app’s icon and keeps hitting the wrong one accidentally. He gets very irritated and it stresses him out whenever he needs to use apps.” CANDY TAN LAY NAH


“How about my kids and my mum that don’t have phones, don’t know how to use apps and don’t fall into the Merdeka and Pioneer generation group?” RAYSON XAVIER RAE


“Sometimes seniors need domestic helpers to buy food too. Who would hand over their phone to their helper with the login password?” M FENG ZHANG

“Not easy for old folks to download and use the app. Please let them continue with the Kopitiam card. Helpers are also not familiar with the app.” KALAI SELVI


“Overall, it’s better using the app. You need to queue to top up the card. There’s a non-refundable fee and the card will expire after two years. Either you top up (more than required) or end up short… and you have to go to the machine to queue up (again) and re-queue at the stall. Now, you just need to link a credit card and you pay exactly what is required. No need to put in the extra money.” JOE JL NG

“You can also buy what you need to eat through the app easily, without leaving your table.” HIME KANG

“(The physical card) works well, but it really pales in comparison to modern payment methods… When you’re dining in, the first thing is to check the amount left in the card which is annoying, especially when there’s a queue at the terminal. I can carry a receipt of my latest order to skip this process, but that’s another item to carry around which is annoying.” TIN HONG WEN


“Cards have a limited lifespan and costs quite a bit of money to produce in bulk. As much as we need to accommodate seniors, they also need to understand that they need to adapt. I suggest allowing seniors to use their senior citizen card to pay for such transactions. They already use it for their transport.” ROLAND CHUA

“FairPrice should allow seniors to use their Passion Card to pay for their meals with the same 10 per cent discount. Presently, all seniors who are 60 and above are issued with the Passion Silver Card and they can top up this card for public transport concession. So, why not make use of the same card for payment at Kopitiam eateries? I hope FairPrice can review this by reconfiguring the Kopitiam payment terminals’ software and hardware for the benefit of seniors.” JONATHAN WONG

“Leverage the use of our Ez-link card more. Reduce the number of different cards, but don’t force the digital illiterate to use mobile apps. Every citizen or permanent resident has an Ez-link.” TINGWEI LEE

These comments were first posted to TODAY’s Facebook page or sent in via email to Voices. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length. If you have views on this issue or a news topic you care about, send a letter to voices [at] () with your full name, address and phone number.

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