Payment Methods

Singaporeans Ditch Cash For Digital Payments

The number of consumers in Singapore who prefer electronic payments over cash increased 11 percent in 2016 to 87 percent.

That’s according to the 2016 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes survey, which, according to a report, found the increase is due largely to a preference among consumers to use debit cards, which increased 7 percent year over year in 2016. What’s more, the survey found 62 percent of consumers said they own and actively use debit cards, marking a 13 percent increase year over year.

Singapore is a developed market where more than 60 percent of all transactions are made electronically. However, this means that around 40 percent of payments in Singapore are still transacted using cash and checks, presenting a significant opportunity for cash displacement. Certain segments in Singapore, such as hawker centers, food courts and wet markets, are heavily cash-based. Hence, it is important for the industry to work closely together to introduce new digital solutions to convert cash in these segments, so that Singapore can become truly cashless,” said Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei, in a report looking at the survey results.

According to the study, 48 percent of respondents said they have more payment cards in their wallet than five years ago. The main reasons for not carrying around cash include increased usage of payment cards, mobile wallets and contactless payment cards. Fifty-two percent of these respondents also said they believe card usage is safer than cash.

As for payment habits and sentiment, Visa found 68 percent of survey respondents said they are using electronic payments, such as mobile devices and wearables, more often and moving away from cash. Sixty-six percent also said they would like payments to be fully automated, doing away with the physical process of paying for a product or service. Sixty percent of them are also comfortable with the use of biometrics, such as fingerprinting and face recognition, for payment authentication, Visa found.

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