Chart of the Day: Pandemic spurs digital payment take-up in Singapore

Electronic payments are expected to take up 61% of transactions by 2023.

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to help drive digital payments’ adoption in Singapore, with non-cash payments expected to take a 54% market share in 2020, a report by GlobalData revealed.

Coupled with the support of the government, cashless payments are expected to grow exponentially in the country, eventually taking more than half of market share at 61% in 2023.

“The recent Covid-19 outbreak will further drive the shift from cash-based payments to digital payment tools, particularly non-contact tools such as contactless cards and mobile wallets,” said Nikhil Reddy, banking and payments analyst at GlobalData.

Credit transfers doubled from $61m in 2015 to $133m in 2019, whilst card payments ballooned from $611m to $1.2b in the same period.

“The digitalization of transit payments, expanding payment infrastructure, rising electronic payment acceptance among SMEs and growing consumer preference for digital payments will further push Singapore’s move towards a ‘less-cash’ economy,” said Reddy.

The launch of a common QR code standard in September 2018 also helped this type of payment transfer gain traction. According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), over 32,000 QR codes have been deployed across various merchant categories such as retail stores, hawker centers and supermarkets, as of September 2019.

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