Friday, June 12, 2020

Some Genuine questions for my readers, appreciate your inputs

I believe many of my readers are sophisticated investors. I have 2 questions and like your thoughts or links to any articles

First, how is digitalisation of payments for hawkers, mum and pop shops going to help them?

Yes, it will help banking, with more accounts, manufacturing with the production of hardware. How is it helping them in terms of new demand or lowering of costs (I see increase of costs)

Yes, people can order online, but paynow should suffice?

I am not against digitisation, I am just wondering if the papers are screaming "helping hawkers" hypocritally

2) is globalisation and effecient allocation of costs overrated?

Will.redirecting of some supply chains locally for resilience and lesser profits and higher costs, necessarily be a high economic costs? ( Cost, yes, but really to the extend of job displacement, economic ruins, like some papers are suggesting ??)

Appreciate your thoughts on the matter.


  1. Hi SI

    1) I'm not sure what is the definition of " helping hawkers" in this context. The possible view i could see would be the outreach of targets rather than fixated within an vicinity in terms of payment, food and brand advertising through digital platform. It depends on the end product, can food be digitized in the first place?(Therefore, there are food delivery services)

    In such situation, nowhere is resilient, not an subject expert in terms of supply chain haha.

  2. Hi SI, in terms of technology, SG is quite a joke when considering we are small and somewhat rich. But our country is really quite backwards in terms of technology usage.

    In China, it's almost cashless society. You cannot pay cash in any of your taxi ride already many years ago. You are unable to hail a taxi on the street too, without using your phone app.

    In Europe, there are no such things as cheque anymore. in fact many of my colleague asked me why we need to sign cheque as that is already dinasour age for them.

    During my work travel prior to Covid, I am always asked when i will be back to sign this cheque and that, because so many companies in SG still refuse to use internet bank transfer and prefer cash or cheque payments.

    Hence, the digital payment is not really to help Hawker but just let the country move a step closer to let the entire population accustom to wireless and "tech" related stuffs.

    I feel it is nothing to do with helping hawker in their cost or profit, but it is helping the country's backward mindset although we claim we are first world country with 4G leaders. ermmm......

  3. 1) Digitization is not an initiative to help the hawker core business. It is a initiative to make the white paper policy owners look good. Using payment platforms directly increase the operating expenditures as stall owners need to pay platform fees or merchant fees to the payment processors and renting of EFTPOS machines. In the worst case scenario the cost will be passed on to consumers as increased food prices. Afterpay is a payment platform that had lots of criticism.

    Unless the hawker voluntarily usitlises online platform to sell food to be integrated in their business, it is an additional none core exp.

    2) Globalization and reallocation talks along global supply chains is legitimate in my opinion as there will be some countries with superior access to resources or larger populations for manual tasks. It directly decrease the cost of businesses. But the social effects of globalization and inequality / unequal allocation is a hot potato issue with no easy answers.

  4. i feel that it is not really helping hawker. they can get 100% profit now but they may have to pay the terminal charges after the free trial is over, make them worse off but make providers earn and consumer pay.

  5. Hi all,

    Thank you all for your inputs. I think I agree with all your thoughts. So, it's not like I missed out something, financially negligible for hawkers, but there are quite many benefits to go around

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