Credit: lyf

Newly opened lyf (read: life) at Funan is an interesting proposition. You get a co-living space right in the heart of town with a relatively affordable price tag, and the experience itself is interesting as well.

Right from the start, you’ll have to download the lyf app to check in to your room. Instead of handing over your passport to the receptionist (otherwise known as lyf guards), you fill out the registration form with your personal and passport information and then scan a QR code provided by the lyf guard.

Once that’s done, your booking information gets pulled up, along with any outstanding payment. If all’s good, you then get to see your room number, as well as access to a mobile key that allows you to take the lift up.

Enable Bluetooth and hold the phone to the reader in the lift, and it’ll allow you to press the button to get to your floor. Pretty cool in my opinion, and it’s the first time I’ve seen mobile keys used in a hotel or co-living space here in Singapore.

The same entry method is in place for room doors; hold the back of the phone to the reader and it’ll unlock while displaying a visual cue on the phone.

But it doesn’t just end there. There are vending machines at the lyf lobby and these only accept cashless payments like credit cards or NETS. I’m honestly a convert to cashless payments. After travelling to China a couple of times, I’ve always been amazed at how convenient their mobile payments are, and I’ve found myself wishing that more places in Singapore would start accepting either NFC or QR code payments.

The co-living space brings this to a new level with their Smart Retail Station that allows guests to take drinks from a refrigerated section below, scan the barcode at the terminal and use their cards or mobile phones to pay.

There are also washing and dryer machines at the lobby which can be paid for only by Visa and Mastercard credit cards, or PayWave. This is a great way of going about it, I can still remember carrying over $15 worth of coins down to my local laundromat to do a load of laundry. If all self-operated laundromats implement this cashless payment system, I’d be a lot happier.

There’s also a vending machine for beer and cider in the same laundry room, which sparked my interest the first time I saw it. Similarly, it only accepts card and mobile payments. I wondered how it would adhere to the law against alcohol sales after 10:30pm in Singapore, and was informed that a lyf guard would have to manually lock up the box covering the payment reader for the machine. A bit of a letdown, considering everything else is relatively high-tech.

But all in all, I was quite impressed at how efficiently lyf has integrated tech into this space. It fits in nicely with Funan’s desire to still retain tech in their lifestyle spaces, and I’m glad for one less keycard to have to bring around and possibly lose.

More information about lyf Funan can be found on their website.