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Card payments overtake cash usage in Singapore

Source: Visa

Card payments (97%) have overtaken cash (82%) to become the most-used payment method in Singapore, according to the latest edition of Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

The study revealed that more than 95 per cent of Singapore consumers use credit or debit cards for payment, a consistent trend across generations from Baby Boomers to Gen Z.

The widespread use and preference of contactless cards in Singapore is driving this trend and continues to fuel Singapore’s shift towards becoming a cashless nation. With more than four in five Singapore consumers (82%) using contactless cards, it has become the preferred payment method for a vast number of categories including convenience store purchases (54%), retail shopping (53%), supermarket purchases (52%), public transport (33%), as well as taxis and ride-sharing (28%). Online card payments remain the method of choice for bill payments (35%).

Contactless payments penetration for Visa cards in Singapore has now crossed 95 per cent[2]. This means that for every 10 Visa transactions, more than nine are using contactless payments, and this is one of the highest in the world.

Consumers who prefer contactless cards have formed entrenched habits around their use. Nearly all (89%) 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 it is not the most widely used method, mobile contactless payments (52%) and QR code payments (48%) continue to increase 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 tech-savvy consumers lead hyper-digital lives, and our nation’s advanced payments infrastructure has made it possible for many to go cashless. Many consumers have embraced the convenience and ease of paying anyone, anywhere with a tap, click, or scan. To help more consumers embrace cashless payments in all aspects of their lives, 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,” Adeline Kim, Visa’s Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei, said.

With the abundance of different cashless payment methods available in Singapore, nearly two in three consumers (63%) have tried to go cashless. More than two in five (42%) have succeeded in doing so for at least a week. Among those who have not yet made the attempt, three in five are confident they can survive for at least the next few days, while nearly half (48%) are confident they can survive for the next week. Two in four Singapore consumers (39%) are also carrying less cash in their wallets due to greater reliance on contactless payments.

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