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Card Payments Overtake Cash Usage in Singapore: Visa Study

Singaporeans have embraced cashless payments with open arms, according to the latest edition of Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study. The study found that card payments have overtaken cash to become the most-used payment method in Singapore, with 97 per cent of consumers opting for credit or debit cards.

Contactless cards in particular have become increasingly popular in Singapore, with 82 per cent of consumers using them for payment. This payment method has become the preferred option for convenience store purchases (54 per cent), retail shopping (53 per cent), supermarket purchases (52 per cent), public transport (33 per cent), as well as taxis and ride-sharing (28 per cent).

The study found that contactless payments penetration for Visa cards in Singapore has now crossed 95 per cent. This means that for every 10 Visa transactions, more than nine are using contactless payments, making it one of the highest in the world.

Consumers who prefer contactless cards have formed entrenched habits around their use, with nearly all (89 per cent) using the method at least once a week, and two in five (41 per cent) using it at least four times a week.

Mobile patterns

Mobile contactless payments and QR code payments are also on the rise among Singaporeans, with 52 per cent and 48 per cent of consumers respectively using these methods. 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.

Visa’s country manager for Singapore & Brunei, Adeline Kim, said that Singapore’s advanced payments infrastructure has made it possible for many consumers to go cashless.

“Many consumers have embraced the convenience and ease of paying anyone, anywhere with a tap, click, or scan,” she said. “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.”

Going cashless

With the abundance of different cashless payment methods available in Singapore, nearly two in three consumers (63 per cent) have tried to go cashless. More than two in five (42 per cent) 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 per cent) are confident they can survive for the next week. Two in four Singapore consumers (39 per cent) are also carrying less cash in their wallets due to greater reliance on contactless payments.

The Visa study suggests that Singaporeans’ embrace of cashless payments is not just a trend, but a cultural shift towards greater convenience and efficiency in payment methods.

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