Singapore’s debit card market is dominated by local debit card scheme provider NETS, which accounted for over 85% of the market’s transaction value in 2017. High acceptability among merchants due to low charges led to its popularity. To compete with NETS, international schemes are making efforts in the form of reducing interchange fees, launching promotional campaigns, and introducing advanced technologies, such as Visa Checkout and Masterpass.
Singapore displayed the highest growth in e-commerce during the review period (2013-17e), compared to its peers. Debit and credit cards together accounted for over 40% of the total value of e-commerce transactions in Singapore in 2017, although bank transfer is the second most popular single payment tool with a 13.4% share. Cash and cheques remain popular payment tools even for online purchases, revealing both the traditional role of cash and the importance of comfort when shopping online.
Electronic payments in Singapore have steadily gained prominence, and the country has invested substantially in building long-term infrastructure for cashless payments. Widely available financial products, a competitive merchant marketplace, and a transparent business environment are strongly connected with progress towards a cashless society. The adoption of contactless technology, mobile payments, and chip-and-PIN technology has also supported the shift towards electronic payments.
Contactless has become a mainstream payment method in Singapore, with banks, retailers, transit systems, and universities embracing the technology. Banks in Singapore have been at the forefront in embracing this technology, with the major banks - DBS Bank, UOB Bank, OCBC Bank, Citibank, and Standard Chartered Bank - now offering contactless cards. With the necessary payment infrastructure in place and a high smartphone penetration rate, NFC mobile payments were a natural extension, allowing users to make payments with their mobile phones.
The report "Payments in Singapore 2017: What Consumers Want", examines the consumer payments market in Singapore, considering payment cards, online payments, P2P payments, and newer payment technologies such as mobile wallets and contactless. The report also examines the main regulatory players overseeing the market.
In particular, this report provides the following:
- Analyzes consumer attitudes to financial services by lifestage.
- Analyzes the major payment card types in terms of both card holding and usage.
- Identifies the major competitors in card issuing and how their position in the market has changed over the last five years.
- Considers consumer attitudes towards P2P tools, mobile payment tools, and contactless cards, and how companies in Singapore are deploying these tools to meet customer needs.
- Explores the online payment market in Singapore by merchant type and payment tool, as well as providing a five-year forecast for the development of the market.
- In Singapore contactless technology has been extended to enable cash withdrawals at ATMs. UOB has launched an ATM that enables customers to withdraw cash by tapping their smartphone on the unit’s screen. The first two contactless ATMs were deployed in Raffles Place and Alexandra in October 2016.
- In August 2017 the Payments Council took a decision to develop a common Singapore QR code system. The system will accept electronic payments from both domestic and international payment schemes, e-wallets, and banks.
- NETS was established in 1985 by a consortium of DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, and UOB. It is recognized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as the national payment system.
- Understand the key facts and figures in the consumer payments market in Singapore.
- Learn what trends drive consumer behavior at the macro level and plan your strategy accordingly.
- Find out what products the major competitors are launching in the market.
- Discover consumer sentiments towards various payment tools in the Singaporean market and use this knowledge to inform product design.
Payments Infrastructure & Regulation