SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Neetwork): Foodcourt chain Kopitiam will deploy more than 80 digital buddies at 15 high-volume outlets from March to June to help patrons transition from physical Kopitiam cards to the FairPrice app.
The digital buddies, who are FairPrice employees or temporary staff, will be located at outlets islandwide – including Jurong Point, Tampines Mall, Lau Pa Sat and Northpoint City – to help Kopitiam customers, especially senior citizens, download the FairPrice app and start redeeming Linkpoints to offset their Kopitiam purchases.
The FairPrice Group, which was established in 2019, comprises four social enterprises – FairPrice, Foodfare, Kopitiam and NTUC Link.
Earlier in February, FairPrice announced that physical Kopitiam cards – a stored-value card that can be used to pay for meals at the chain’s outlets – will be discontinued from June 30.
Customers will have to pay for their meals using the FairPrice app, which is linked to a debit or credit card, to continue enjoying the 10 per cent discount that the card provides.
Top-ups for physical Kopitiam cards will also end on March 1, said the FairPrice Group on Monday.
From then, Kopitiam cardholders have four months, till June 30, to use the remaining stored value at Kopitiam outlets; or move the remaining value in their Kopitiam cards to the FairPrice app in the form of Linkpoints. This can be done at any Kopitiam outlet with self-service top-up kiosks.
All 15 outlets with digital buddies will also have booths to facilitate cash refunds for those who prefer to get their stored cash value back.
Since the announcement, there has been a mixed bag of reactions from seniors reliant on the physical cards, with some calling for the move to be reversed, while others have said the transition to apps instead of physical cards has been manageable.
To facilitate the move to the app and assist customers, the digital buddies will be at the 15 Kopitiam outlets in March and June, from noon to 8pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 10am to 8pm at weekends. In April and May, they will be at the outlets on Fridays only, from noon to 8pm, and at weekends from 10am to 8pm.
Foodcourt managers and supervisors at all 72 of Kopitiam’s outlets within shopping malls, office buildings and residential estates have also been trained to look out for the elderly and address queries and concerns from diners, said the FairPrice Group.
Besides this, bilingual posters and leaflets with step-by-step guides on how to download and use the FairPrice app will be available across outlets. The leaflets will be in all four national languages.
Selected Kopitiam outlets will also play instructional videos. The videos can also be viewed here: www.kopitiam.biz/kopitiam-goes-digital
As for seniors who may not be able to move on to the app, special arrangements have been made for this group to show their Pioneer Generation or Merdeka Generation cards at Kopitiam outlets to get a 10 per cent discount.
Those under the ComCare assistance scheme who have no debit or credit cards can show their ComCare Public Assistance/Special Grant cards to get the same discount.
Peh Ah Eng, a 79-year-old retiree who downloaded the FairPrice app last week, said she found the app easier to use than expected.