Should Kopitiam retain its physical cards? TODAY readers discussed the topic this week, after FairPrice Group — which runs the food court and coffee shop chain — said that it would be phasing out the card come June 30. Users will need to use its mobile app instead to enjoy a discount.
Senior citizens interviewed by TODAY lamented the move, saying they would find it hard to learn to use a new app.
Many readers agreed, saying the move risks leaving the elderly behind. The card is also useful for children and others who might not have access to the app, they added. A handful of readers lauded the change, urging users to adapt to it, while others suggested having a combined card for various services. Here’s a selection of comments:
ELDERLY LEFT BEHIND?
“The Silver Generation is made up of different groups of people. For the literate ones, asking them to learn to navigate apps is not an issue. For the not so literate ones, the struggle is real. It’s not a straightforward matter of teach and they will learn. Hope in our rush to digitalise we do not leave behind our non-tech-savvy seniors.” LEE HENRY
“I’m 65. I worked in the corporate world before retirement and used to use electronic systems at work but at this age I really hate it when any operating systems get updated… It takes so much more effort to unlearn and relearn at this age!” VONO SEEKEH
“Many elderly do not have mobile data plans. Some don’t have the habit of switching it on as they are afraid of hefty charges in case they accidentally exceed the limit.” NICOLE ED
“My mum can’t even learn to use a mobile phone… and what about seniors with poor eyesight?” NURAISHAH CHONG PL
“Sometimes seniors need domestic helpers to buy food too. Who would hand over their phone to their helper with the login password?” M FENG ZHANG
“Not easy for old folks to download and use the app. Please let them continue with the Kopitiam card. Helpers are also not familiar with the app.” KALAI SELVI
LEARN TO ADAPT?
“Overall, it’s better using the app. You need to queue to top up the card. There’s a non-refundable fee and the card will expire after two years. Either you top up (more than required) or end up short… and you have to go to the machine to queue up (again) and re-queue at the stall. Now, you just need to link a credit card and you pay exactly what is required. No need to put in the extra money.” JOE JL NG