I am sure many of these seniors will be concerned as to how they are going to adapt to the changes.
One way to get seniors to embrace cashless top-ups for their EZ link cards is for an apps tutorial to be developed in which simple step-by step instructions can guide the user to top-up his/her card when it is due for renewal.
This apps which has to be user-friendly can be introduced at two levels – At the community clubs and our schools. For the students who master the use of this apps tutorial, they can in turn impart their knowledge to their parents, grandparents, and even their neighbours.
Grassroots leaders who work the ground closely with closely with Members of Parliament can learn the technique of this apps tutorial and transfer the knowledge gained to the elderly in their respective neighborhoods.
This new initiative has benefits: It not only helps seniors on a fresh learning journey, but it is also a good move to strengthen bonds within families, as well as promote good neighbourliness.
Most of our seniors are out of work so every cent counts. By imposing a convenience fee for the cashless way, seniors will be discouraged from adopting this mode of payment. That said, I propose we waive this fee for seniors 60 years and above, and even those with special needs.
While the government can initiate cashless schemes, big companies such as banks and telcos must also play their part as corporate citizens to spear-head this new development. They can do this by encouraging their staff to partner volunteers to educate the public on this cashless drive.
With a coordinated effort, these public transport ambassadors can be stationed at MRT stations/bus interchanges at fixed times by year end to start coaching the elderly on how they can go about topping up their EZ link cards the cashless way and meet the vision of being a smart nation, perhaps, well ahead of the given time frame.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO