GSS spending on MasterCard up 11.2% to about $2 billion

MasterCard holders spent more than US$1.6 billion ($2 billion) at this year's Great Singapore Sale (GSS), an increase of 11.2 per cent from last year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
MasterCard holders spent more than US$1.6 billion ($2 billion) at this year's Great Singapore Sale (GSS), an increase of 11.2 per cent from last year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - MasterCard holders spent more than US$1.6 billion ($2 billion) at this year's Great Singapore Sale (GSS), an increase of 11.2 per cent from last year.

The number of transactions rose 12.5 per cent to reach 13.5 million this year, the company said in a press release on Tuesday.

Spending by tourists made up a third of the total spend during the eight-week sale, which ran from May 30 to July 27. The top five tourist spenders, which remained unchanged from last year, were from Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan and Indonesia.

Visitors from China, in particular, jumped from being the fifth biggest foreign spenders last year to third this year. They spent US$40.8 million on their MasterCard and made 236,000 transactions in Singapore - up 30 per cent from the same period last year.

Singapore-based cardholders spent US$1.17 billion, 12.8 per cent more compared to the same period last year. More opted to pay with their credit card this year, with more than 10 million transactions made using MasterCard. This was 10.2 per cent up from the same period last year.

Online spending on MasterCard at local e-commerce websites during the GSS accounted for 28.6 per cent of total spending. Spending and the number of transactions grew by 25 per cent to US$473.8million and 4.1 million transactions.

"The steady climb in the number of MasterCard transactions in Singapore is a sign that electronic payments are displacing cash for small ticket transactions," MasterCard said. It attributed this to the rise in contactless payments, which saw the number of transactions jump by more than a quarter during this year's Sale.

Singapore Retailers Association's president Jannie Chan said this pick-up in spending is "encouraging" for the industry after a relatively muted start this year.