Mobile contactless payments are on the rise in Singapore with 56 per cent of consumers embracing this new way to pay, according to Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.
An increase of 12 per cent compared to a year ago, this is not surprising given that Singapore is one of the market leaders globally in terms of contactless payments penetration.
The increase in usage is also likely due to popular mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay being made available to Singaporeans in the past few years.
Contactless card payments continue to be the most popular option, with 84 per cent of Singapore respondents using this mode of payment. The trend is even higher amongst Generation Y respondents at 92 per cent.
Based on the study, Singaporeans prefer the use of contactless payments over other modes of payment when paying for their rides on public transportation or shopping at supermarkets. Top reasons cited for this preference include convenience and rewards.
“Singapore is an extremely developed market when it comes to contactless payments usage. Over the years, we’ve seen tremendous uptake in contactless payments by Singaporeans, and we’re one of the top countries globally to achieve more than 90 per cent contactless payments penetration,” said Kunal Chatterjee, Visa’s Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei.
“Supermarkets and quick service restaurants are one of the key contributors of this growth, coupled with contactless acceptance in new categories such as public transportation, which was introduced last year.
“During this period of circuit breaker in Singapore, we continue to see strong contactless payments growth and we’re confident that the growth will continue once people are out and about and back to their normal lives,” he added.
Visa also recently implemented an option for merchants not to capture signature as a cardholder verification method to reduce consumers’ physical contact with the point-of-sale machines and enable a more frictionless payment experience.
This is in addition to increasing contactless payment transaction limits, from the previous amount of S$100 to S$200 so that consumers can tap and wave their cards or payment devices, without signature verification.
Advanced security and firm data privacy contributed to the adoption
In Singapore, state-of-the-art mobile security and stringent data privacy measures have made the adoption of mobile contactless payments possible.
Three in four Singaporeans (75%) do not feel that their personal information is at risk when making mobile payments. In addition, two in three consumers believe that merchants, banks and third-party companies provide sufficient security to protect their transactions.
Security concerns are largely unrelated to the payment mechanism itself, but rather the possibility of losing one’s mobile phone (61%) or the potential for getting hacked (49%).
The study also found that three in five Singaporean consumers are even willing to share their location data with merchants in return for special discounts, promotions and services.
With contactless payments becoming more frequently used among consumers, the idea of Singapore becoming a completely cashless society is no longer a pipe dream. Nearly half of Singaporean consumers carry less cash in their wallets compared to two years ago, with increased usage of contactless payments being the top reason (68%).
They have also shown continued support for the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation initiative to digitise the country, and 62 per cent of them expect their usage of cashless payment methods to increase next year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to motivate a shift towards digital transactions, changing payment habits could further accelerate the growth of digital payments.