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Singapore’s Gen Z Community Leads the Island’s Cashless Revolution

Three in five Singapore consumers have tried going fully cashless during the pandemic, with Gen Z forming the majority of this digitally-savvy segment.

According to Visa’s ‘Consumer Payment Attitudes‘ study, more than four in five Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) consumers have tried going fully cashless, while nearly three in four Gen Y ( born between 1981 and 1996) consumers have attempted to do so.

Other demographic groups are likely to follow their lead in embracing cashless, with the pandemic compelling consumers to continue adopting digital behaviours and lifestyles.

Singaporeans cited reasons such as greater speed and efficiency (47 per cent), convenience (47 per cent) and ease of tracking financial records (43 per cent) for going cashless. The most likely categories for cashless comprise day-to-day transactions like bill payments (62 per cent), public transport (59 per cent) and taxi and ridesharing (56 per cent).

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei
Kunal Chatterjee

“As the network working for everyone, Visa is powering Singapore’s cashless transition by providing the foundation for new players to scale digital payment experiences,” said Kunal Chatterjee, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei.

“Contactless payment, which is the country’s most preferred payment method, is also driving Singapore’s transition to cashless. More than nine in 10 Visa transactions in Singapore are contactless payments and this is one of the highest contactless payment penetration figures in the world.”

Nearly three-quarters of Singapore consumers use contactless cards, and many are frequent users. Eighty-four per cent of those who currently use the payment method use it at least once a week.

Other digital payment methods that are widely used in Singapore include online card payments (81 per cent), mobile contactless payments (49 per cent) and swiping or inserting a card (48 per cent).

Singaporeans’ growing preference for cashless payments is also influencing the way they shop. For the Gen Z segment, seven in 10 are comfortable going to stores with self-checkout lines, and 70 per cent of them are comfortable with biometric-authenticated payments.

The rise of digital payments also continues to accelerate the growth of e-commerce and new shopping channels in Singapore.

More than three in five Singapore consumers shopped online more frequently through apps and websites, with both Gen Y and Gen Z leading this trend. One-third also shopped more often via direct home delivery after ordering by phone, while one quarter shopped more frequently via social media platforms.

Gen Z is also at the forefront of these emerging shopping channels, driving the rising use of direct home delivery (57 per cent) and retail on social media (38 per cent).

“Singaporeans are extremely savvy when it comes to using digital payments and we are seeing more digital commerce experiences transforming within the payments ecosystem,” added Chatterjee.

“The pandemic has accelerated the growth of digital payments in the country, and we are confident that this growth will continue as we work with all players within the payments industry to provide seamless, convenient and secure payment experiences.”


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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