Singapore ranks eighth among 73 countries in the 2018 Government E-Payments Adoption Ranking (GEAR). GEAR is an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global index and benchmarking study commissioned by Visa, which ranks governments by quantifying their e-payment capabilities based on various indicators such as policies and infrastructure.
The EIU evaluates the extent to which major countries around the world have enabled the adoption of e-payments according to seven criteria — transactions between citizen-to government (C2G), government-to citizen (G2C), business-to-government (B2G), government-tobusiness (G2B), as well as the infrastructure, socio-economic and policy environments to enable e-payments.
Norway tops the GEAR list, scoring 89.7 points in seven categories, followed by France (89.4) and Denmark (88.8). Singapore’s overall score is 87.6 and is the only ASEAN country ranked within the top 10.
In the business-to-government transaction category, Singapore ranks first at a perfect score of 100 points, along with Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Malaysia, due to various initiatives in the payments space. For example, Singapore has made convenient digital portals available for businesses to calculate, file and pay their taxes (both income and VAT).
In the consumer-to-government (C2G) and government-to-consumer (G2C) transaction categories, Singapore is ranked eighth. Singaporeans can access a range of C2G and G2C transactions through an interoperable platform. For C2G, citizens can use contactless payments for public transit, and pay for parking, automotive fines as well as vehicle registration through digital channels.
As for the G2C category, citizens in Singapore are able to receive their tax refunds, as well as track and calculate their refund amounts through convenient online portals. They are also able to register for, and maintain unemployment benefits, as well as pension benefits without ever needing to visit a government office in person.
“We have a very forward looking government in Singapore and there are many initiatives that they have introduced to promote the country in becoming a smart nation. Today, Singapore has become one of the most developed countries in terms of e-payments adoption and coming in top ten is further testament to the government’s success. Our role is to continue working closely with the government, and enable digital payments for everyone in all aspects, be it in the consumer to government, government to consumer or business to government category,” said Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei.
Supporting factors such as infrastructure, and socio-economic conditions also play a crucial role in increasing the adoption of digital payments. Singapore is ranked fifth in the infrastructure category.