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POSB runs trial for in-school contactless payment system

By Liu Hongzuo - on 24 Oct 2016, 10:44am

POSB runs trial for in-school contactless payment system

To purchase an item in school, students can select the relevant items at a contactless terminal in the canteen or bookstore, and then scan their POSB Smart Buddy watch or card to complete the purchase.

POSB recently ran a trial that employed an in-school contactless payment system for schooling children. The trial, called POSB Smart Buddy program, allows parents to remotely manage savings and spending while helping students monitor their own finances.

The POSB Smart Buddy program used modified portable and wearable devices (such as a watch or their student cards), and the finance-tracking capabilities occur in real-time. The accompanying mobile app on those devices facilitates the tracking and management while allowing parents to pre-set daily allowance for their kids.

Since July 2016, 130 students from Anchor Green Primary School received a customized POSB watch, while 60 students from St. Joseph Institution (SJI) used a modified student card. The students from both schools used these devices at their respective school’s canteens and bookstores. Anchor Green Primary School had set up their vendors with contactless terminals while providing a kiosk for students to check their watch’s remaining balance. The watch also tracks their steps and calories burnt for the day.

Parents effectively manage their child’s spending at school by setting a daily allowance limit in advance, and choose to automatically transfer the accumulated savings into their child’s POSBkids account. If the child loses their watch or card, parents can remotely disable the devices in an instant.

Parents can link their savings account to the program’s mobile app, which allowed them to monitor their child’s expenses, adjust their daily allowance limit, and even disable the spending device remotely. For instance, the app allows parents to hand emergency cash in real-time, or disable a device if the child loses it.

Mr. Tan Kok Yam, Head of Smart Nation Programme Office, said, “We are very encouraged by the collaboration between POSB and schools. This is a great example of how a good idea can arise organically, be tested and refined by users, with the eventual aim of being put to practical use. In this case, using wearable technologies, parents can be given greater convenience and peace of mind, while kids can learn about financial management and the virtue of thriftiness.”