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Kopitiam, a Singaporean foodcourt chain, is taking e-payments to next level with KOPItech, which enables customers to pay with various payment methods including cryptocurrencies.
According to Singapore’s media outlet The Business Times, this appears as an attempt of Kopitiam to reinvent itself and to keep up with the times. To achieve these goals, Kopitiam introduces the new KOPItech features that will be incorporated in 20 self-service kiosks of the chain, which will consist of an e-payment system that accepts cryptocurrencies among other digital payment options.
Kopitiam food courts have become prevalent in a number of Asian countries including Singapore. The company has recently opened another locale in Funan mall. According to Alden Tan, Kopitiam’s chief executive officer, KOPItech new payment system costs about S$500,000 in order to develop an in-house payment solution; making payments compatible with cryptocurrencies was the product of Tan’s own vision and curiosity about blockchain, as he wanted to reach a growing segment of highly tech-savvy customers.
“Allowing cryptocurrencies will help us to learn more about this segment of the payment system. This group of customers may grow in the future, so this is what we want to attract. We are always mindful of how we could add more customers to the food court.”
As reported by Business Times, Kopitiam currently accepts three cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin(BTC)trade, Ethereum (ETH)trade and Creatanium (CMB). Crypto to fiat currency will take place on a weekly basis by Kopitiam and its fintech partner, which will enable the franchise’s stallholders to get payout their earning in Singaporean dollars.
KOPItech will enable customers to order food from either stall specific kiosk or centralized kiosk that display menus from nearly all the stalls in the food court; it will also let them pay at a kiosk or directly via the Facebook Messenger app using QR codes which will be available on each table. This will not only help the stalls to get rid of the long queues that are often seen during lunch breaks and on weekends, but the system will bring enhanced efficiency and productivity for stall operators as well.
Mitigating the Worries of Stallholders about Crypto
“Three years ago, we wanted to do something different and ride on the trend of technology, and along the way, we were thinking of how we could make this foodcourt different,” Tan says. He also discussed the slight misgivings of stallholders who might be a little perturbed because of the crypto payment move, but now “can concentrate on doing their best, which is cooking and serving, and leave the chore of taking orders and changing money to the machine.”
The primary test phase for the new KOPItech cryptocurrency payment system will be at the chain’s stalls at Funan mall, and if the cryptocurrency concept will be accepted warmly by customers, the company will expand it to other locations of Kopitiam.
‘If these initiatives are successful, they could be rolled out at other malls in Singapore where Kopitiam and FairPrice are co-located,’ he concluded.