More than 1 million hawker meal subsidies redeemed in less than 3 months since DBS/POSB launched ‘5 Million Hawker Meals’ scheme

Singapore.01 May 2023

Among those who redeemed the subsidy, 12% were seniors above 62; 24% earned less than SGD 2,500 a month

Some hawker stallholders also observed 15-25% boost in weekly earnings

Singapore, 01 May 2023 - Singaporeans and residents have redeemed more than one million hawker meal subsidies in less than three months since DBS/POSB started providing the cashback of up to SGD 3. Offered to the first 100,000 diners each Friday, the cashback rewards were fully redeemed at about 1pm last Friday (28 April). Users are informed on the PayLah! app when all meal cashback rewards have been redeemed.

The ‘5 Million Hawker Meals’ scheme, which aims to subsidise five million meals over 12 months (10 February 2023 to 19 January 2024), offers cashback to the first 100,000 diners who use the PayLah! app to scan and pay for their meals every Friday in at least 11,600 stalls with SGQR codes islandwide. The scheme aims to provide some relief to those seeking to manage their everyday expenses amid the persistent inflation that continues to drive up food prices.

Since the 10 February launch, PayLah! transactions, which currently make up more than half of all digital payments in hawker centres, more than doubled. In particular, the number of senior citizens above 62 who used PayLah! at hawker stalls quadrupled. Among those who redeemed their cashback, about 12% were senior citizens while 24% earned less than SGD 2,500 a month.

Hawker stallholders also observed a boost in their business, with some reporting an increase of between 15% and 25% in their weekly earnings. The three most popular hawker centres where people redeemed their meal cashback were Amoy Street Food Centre, Ghim Moh Food Centre and Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre. The top three hawker stalls were Yam Mee Teochew Fishball Noodles (Kovan Food Centre), Ding Yee Super Soup (Yi Jia Food Centre), Coffee Break at Amoy Street (Amoy Street Food Centre) (See map of Top 10 hawkers)

Top 10 hawkers

Jeremy Soo, Head, Consumer Banking Group, DBS Singapore, said: “We are humbled by the overwhelming community support of the 5 Million Hawker Meals. Besides diners, hawkers have also been great advocates who have been spreading the word and encouraging their customers to use pay digitally to enjoy the cashback. While this scheme is a small gesture of encouragement, it underscores our purpose of serving the needs of our customers and the community, and making a positive impact on society. Amid the ongoing economic uncertainty, we will look at what more we can do to support our customers.”

Loh Teck Seng, 68, who has been running Teck Seng Soya Bean stall at Tiong Bahru Market for 38 years, said: “On Fridays, we see bigger crowds and a lot more people making SGQR payments, especially the younger customers. Some seniors are starting to be more comfortable with using the scan-and-pay feature after we remind them about the SGD 3 cashback and guide them through the steps of redeeming it. Besides Fridays, we are also starting to see an improvement in business on other weekdays, and hope more people will continue supporting hawkers and keep the hawker centres bustling.”

The ‘5 Million Hawker Meals’ scheme is among a series of initiatives by DBS/POSB to support the community’s needs. Last Friday, DBS and Esplanade announced a strategic partnership, which includes a SGD 3.5 million donation from the bank to the performing arts centre, to support and develop meaningful experiences for the community. These include availing more free programmes for all to enjoy, which will be presented at the DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre. The bank will also enhance its Sailing at the Bay programme by ramping up sailboat rides in Marina Bay from two to five days a week.

Last November, the DBS Foundation also announced that it will contribute SGD 500,000, which totals up to SGD 1 million with the government’s dollar-for-dollar matching, to the DfL fund to support digital inclusion projects and step up its volunteer participation to drive digital literacy training. The effort aims to reach out to some 100,000 Singaporeans by end 2024, including senior citizens, youths, hawkers, and special needs individuals.

So far, more than 2,000 people have participated in the digital literacy workshops that have taken place at community spaces and hawker centres.


About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 19 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Global Finance, “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney and “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia“ award by Global Finance for 14 consecutive years from 2009 to 2022.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets.

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With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. For more information, please visit

About DBS Foundation
The DBS Foundation is committed to uplifting lives and livelihoods by igniting change in businesses and communities.

Since 2014, the DBS Foundation has been championing social enterprises in Asia, businesses that are for profit, and impact. The Business for Impact chapter now catalyses the growth of innovative, purpose-driven businesses, including SMEs, designed to address pressing issues facing our planet and society.

In 2022, the DBS Foundation raised the bar with the formation of a new Community Impact chapter, to equip the underserved with digital and financial literacy skills to face the future with confidence, and enable communities to be more food secure and resilient.

Our vision is to spark collective action, together with our partners and DBS People of Purpose, to help build a better world for generations today and tomorrow.

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