Eight in Ten Singaporeans Likely to Use Mobile Payments over Cash and Physical Cards: Visa Study


High awareness of (82 per cent) and likelihood to use (79 per cent) mobile payment services establishes Singapore as a mobile-first nation

Singapore - Singaporeans are upbeat about paying with mobile devices, with more than 80 percent understanding the beneits of these new services, according to a new study from Visa. Singapore has the highest smartphone penetration rate globally and almost 89 per cent of Singaporeans never leave home without their smartphones.1

“Based on a study that we have conducted to assess Singaporeans’ attitudes towards mobile payments, around eight in ten (79 per cent) are likely to pay for goods and services in brick-and-mortar stores using their mobile phones over cash and physical cards.2 This positive consumer sentiment towards mobile payments, coupled with the increased adoption of contactless payments, will drive mobile transactions to an unprecedented level,” said Ms. Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei.

“We are also seeing strong growth in contactless usage, with more than one in three Singaporeans using Visa payWave to make in-store purchases3,” she added.

Apart from being convenient, contactless payment is secure through the Visa Token Service. Tokenisation replaces cardholder information, such as account numbers and expiration dates, with a unique digital identifier (a “token”) that can be used for payment without exposing a cardholder’s more sensitive account information. Tokenisation hides consumers’ confidential account information during digital transactions, making digital payments more secure for everyone, everywhere.

As consumers become used to paying for small-ticket items using contactless payments such as Visa payWave, they are realising how cash is becoming increasingly redundant. According to the Survey, 62 per cent of respondents said they would consider leaving their wallets at home if acceptance of mobile payments becomes sufficiently widespread in Singapore.

Respondents who would like to use their mobile phones to make in-store purchases cited the hassle of carrying notes and coins (34 per cent) as the main reason for not wanting to use cash. They also cited “having to count cash” and “having to wait for others to count cash” (22 per cent) as incentives for for replacing cash with mobile wallets.

Where consumers choose to tap and pay

Nearly half the survey respondents (45 per cent) said that they are likely to use their mobile wallets at supermarkets, followed by fast food restaurants (35 per cent) and transportation (31 per cent). On the other hand, quick-service restaurants (12 per cent) and sit-down restaurants (14 per cent) show great potential as acceptance points for mobile payments.

“More than one in three point of sale terminals in Singapore are Visa payWave enabled, including most of those at retailers that are focused on small ticket transactions. With the launch of mobile payments, we believe that the growth in electronic payments will accelerate further, driving Singapore a step closer to being a cashless society,” said Tyng.


1 Synovate survey
2 Visa Mobile Payment Attitudes Study. Conducted by YouGov on 1,000 Singaporeans to assess their attitudes towards mobile payments in May 2016
3 Based on VisaNet data as of January 2016


About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit https://usa.visa.com/, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.