Nearly 9 in 10 Singaporeans prefer to pay by card or mobile wallet than cash: Visa survey

87 per cent of Singaporeans prefer to make electronic payments instead of using cash, according to a survey.
87 per cent of Singaporeans prefer to make electronic payments instead of using cash, according to a survey.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A big majority of Singaporeans prefer making payments electronically over using cash, a new poll has found.

According to the survey conducted by Visa, 87 per cent of Singaporeans prefer to make electronic payments instead of using cash. This is up 11 per cent from the previous year's survey and also represents the highest preference for electronic payments in the region.

The growth is largely due to increased preference for using debit cards, with 62 per cent of consumers saying they own and actively use debit cards, an increase of 13 per cent from the previous survey.

In addition, 48 per cent of respondents said they now have more payment cards in their wallets compared with five years ago.

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The main reasons for not carrying large amounts of cash include an increased habit of using payment cards, mobile wallets and contactless cards.

Fifty-two per cent of those surveyed also said they believe card usage is safer than cash.

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.

"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 in Singapore are still transacted using cash and cheques, presenting a significant opportunity for cash displacement," said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa's country manager for 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," she added.