KOPITIAM foodcourts are a mainstay of many Singapore malls, and the revamped Funan mall that opened on Friday is no different, with a Kopitiam installed in its basement.

What sets it apart however, is how the humble foodcourt has been reinvented to keep up with the times - KOPItech will feature 20 self-service kiosks linked to an e-payment system that accepts numerous payment modes, including in cryptocurrencies.

Kopitiam's chief executive officer Alden Tan tells The Business Times that the KOPItech system cost about S$500,000 to develop in-house, and the decision to make it compatible with cryptocurrencies stemmed from his own curiosity about blockchain and a desire to reach a growing segment of highly tech-savvy customers.

KOPItech accepts three cryptocurrencies - bitcoin, ethereum and creatanium.

The conversion of cryptocurrencies to fiat will be done on a weekly basis by Kopitiam and its fintech partner, with Kopitiam bearing the risks of any currency fluctuations. Stallholders will continue to receive their earnings in Singapore dollars, just like at any other outlet.

At KOPItech, customers will order food and make payment at stall-specific kiosks, centralised kiosks that display menus from nearly all the stalls in the foodcourt, or via the Facebook Messenger app using Quick Response (QR) codes located on each table.

The Funan outlet will serve as a testbed for the KOPItech system, and if the response is good, Kopitiam may consider rolling it out, together with the cryptocurrency option, to other outlets.

"At the new Funan, we will collaborate with NTUC FairPrice Finest to offer perks to customers who shop at Finest and dine at KOPItech. Our KOPItech stallholders can get cost savings by purchasing their ingredients from FairPrice," Mr Tan shares.

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