In Singapore, cash preferences are 88% higher than the Asia-Pacific average, according to a report previously released by payment company PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL).
In Singapore, 43% of respondents said they used cash the most often, compared with 25% in China. Singapore has the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world, with 87%, 152% mobile penetration and around 8.4 million mobile phones. This means that Singapore has a good foundation to achieve cashless payments.
Singapore government pushes for mobile payments
As early as 2014, Singapore put the introduction of mobile payments in the 10-year plan of smart Country 2025 and made mobile payments one of the top five strategic projects to promote the adoption of smart technology across the island in Singapore.
To turn the country into a cashless society, the Singapore government has developed NETS (Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore), a universal QR Code payment system that Singaporean consumers use to scan their phones to complete payments.
Government and financial institutions have vigorously promoted the introduction of contactless and mobile payments through networks such as VISA, the increase of business acceptance points across the island is contributing to the growth of digital consumers.
In addition, Singapore Tourism Board has partnered with Alibaba’s Ant Financial to introduce Alipay in Singapore to make it easier for Chinese tourists to visit Singapore.
Singapore’s cashless payments are growing aggressively
The payment landscape in south-east Asia has changed dramatically as new technology drives cashless behaviour among consumers. Like other countries in southeast Asia, cashless payment in Singapore is growing actively, and cashless payment in Singapore is evolving towards mobile payment. In Singapore, QR code payment suddenly like a night spring breeze,allowing the country’s cash-free payments, marked by credit card payments, to start moving towards a new phase of mobile payment.
Singapore, which has always had one of the highest credit card penetration rates in Southeast Asia, is now accelerating its evolution to mobile payments by virtue of its own strengths.
According to Visa’s 2018-year consumer payment attitude survey, nearly 50% of Singaporeans prefer to use contactless payments (cards and mobile phones) rather than cash payments.
In fact, almost all Singaporeans are aware of the contactless payment of CARDS (98%). The vast majority of them (83%) use contactless CARDS more frequently than in the previous two years, the survey showed.
Convenience is the biggest reason why most Singaporean consumers use contactless payments. According to the survey, nearly 90% of Singaporeans (86%) believe that contactless payments are more convenient than traditional payment methods (i.e. cash payments), and nearly 50% of Singaporeans said they preferred contactless payments.
Singapore has been a great success in the use of contactless payments. Singapore currently has one of the highest contactless payment penetration rates in the world. As more new access channels open, including cross-border and small vendors, it is believed that the use of contactless payments will continue to grow rapidly.
The results also showed that % of Singapore consumers were more interested in using self-checkout. In addition, more than half (54%) of Singapore consumers chose contactless CARDS as the preferred payment method for self-service payment kiosks. Only 9% of Singapore consumers chose to use cash.
When it comes to artificial intelligence payments, about 60% of Singaporean consumers are interested in trading using AI chatbots (59%), nearly 90% of whom are willing to order and buy goods or services through chatbots. Currently, 89% of Singaporeans are familiar with using the technology to book, buy goods or services, while 80% of consumers pay their bills through the technology.
While nearly 50% of Singaporeans prefer cashless payments, Visa previously reported that only 68% of Singaporeans accept a full day of cashless payments. From this, it can be seen that Singaporeans still have a preference for cash.