SINGAPORE — Close to nine in 10 Singaporeans prefer to make electronic payments, as opposed to using cash, showed the 2016 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes survey released yesterday. This represents an 11 per cent increase from the previous year, making Singapore the most developed market in the region for cashless payments.
Credit cards were the preferred mode of payment for 58 per cent of respondents last year, followed by 14 per cent who preferred to use debit cards, and 13 per cent who preferred to use cash. This compares to 2015 data, where 55 per cent preferred to use credit cards, followed by debit cards (7 per cent) and cash (24 per cent), said the international financial services and payment group.
The increased preference for using debit cards is especially marked among those aged between 37 and 51 years old, with 69 per cent saying they own and actively use debit cards versus 62 per cent of overall respondents.
“Singapore is a developed market where more than 60 per cent of all transactions are made electronically. However, this means that around 40 per cent of payments are still transacted using cash and cheques, presenting significant opportunities for cash displacement,” said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager of Singapore and Brunei.
“Certain segments in Singapore, such as hawker centres, food courts and wet markets, are heavily cash-based. Hence it is important for the industry to work closely together to introduce new digital solutions to convert cash in these segments, so that Singapore can become truly cashless.”
Over half of the respondents said they believe card payments are more secure than paying in cash, while close to half said they have more payment cards in their wallets now, compared to five years ago.
Awareness and usage of contactless payments in Singapore has also increased in the past year. Ninety-one per cent of Singaporeans said they are aware of contactless payments, versus 87 per cent in 2015, while seven in one respondents said they have used contactless payments.
Contactless payments are made with debit, credit or smart cards through chip technology that incorporates the use of radio frequency identification.
Visa conducts the Consumer Payment Attitudes survey annually, to gain insights into consumer attitudes towards cash and card usage, mobile banking, contactless payments and online shopping. The other regional markets covered in the survey are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.