According to the latest edition of Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study, card payments have surpassed cash payments to become the most widely used payment method in Singapore, with over 97% of transactions in the country now made using credit or debit cards.

This trend is consistent across generations from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, indicating that the preference for cashless payment methods is not limited to a particular age group.

One of the key drivers of this trend is the widespread use and preference of contactless cards in Singapore.

Over 82% of Singapore consumers now use contactless cards, making it the preferred payment method for a vast range of categories, including convenience store purchases (54%), retail shopping (53%), supermarket purchases (52%), public transport (33%), as well as taxis and ride-sharing (28%).

Moreover, online card payments remain the preferred method for bill payments (35%).

Visa cards’ contactless payment penetration in Singapore has now crossed 95%, which is one of the highest in the world.

For every 10 Visa transactions, over nine are now using contactless payments, indicating that consumers who prefer this payment method have formed entrenched habits around their use.

According to the study, nearly all (89%) of Singapore consumers who use contactless payments use the method at least once a week, with two in five (41%) using it at least four times a week.

While contactless card payments are the most widely used cashless payment method, mobile contactless payments (52%) and QR code payments (48%) continue to gain popularity among Singapore consumers.

Since the pandemic, mobile contactless payments have seen greater use for public transport, petrol, as well as food and dining. On the other hand, QR code payments are increasingly being used for retail shopping and convenience store purchases.

Singapore’s advanced payments infrastructure and tech-savvy consumers have made it possible for many to go cashless, according to Adeline Kim, Visa’s Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei.

She added that Visa is working closely with banks, merchants, fintechs, and other strategic partners to power cashless payments for new and exciting use cases, such as electric vehicle charging, as Singapore gears up towards becoming a smart city.

The abundance of different cashless payment methods available in Singapore has encouraged nearly two in three consumers to try going cashless, with over two in five succeeding in doing so for at least a week.

Moreover, more than two in four Singapore consumers are carrying less cash in their wallets due to the greater reliance on contactless payments.

However, despite the growing interest in digital transactions, Singapore remains rooted in the traditional form of banking, with 69% of consumers preferring to hold their main banking account with traditional banks compared to digital banks. This is the highest among the seven countries in the study.

Furthermore, according to the study, Singapore consumers are the second least optimistic when it comes to viewing cashless as a safer way to pay. This is similar to their preference for shops that accept cashless payments.

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