Mobile payment use rises, fuelled by apps for on-demand services: Visa survey

An employee uses the Apple iPhone to demonstrate to reporters how to pay using the Apple Pay service at an Apple store in Beijing.
An employee uses the Apple iPhone to demonstrate to reporters how to pay using the Apple Pay service at an Apple store in Beijing. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - On-demand services such as those provided by ride-hailing and food and grocery delivery apps are driving mobile payment use in Singapore, according to a Visa survey.

The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey 2016, released on Tuesday (July 18), shows more than seven out of 10 people are paying for goods and services using smartphone apps. The survey of 500 Internet users was conducted in October last year.

This has gone up from six out of 10 based on the same study done in 2015.

Visa attributed the increased mobile payment use to the popularity of what it calls "on-demand services" - such as those provided by ride-hailing apps Grab and Uber, and food and grocery delivery apps Deliveroo, FoodPanda, RedMart and HonestBee.

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Close to two-thirds of Internet users here have used one of these on-demand services, with them citing convenience and efficiency as the top reasons, according to the study.

The findings are consistent with Visa's internal transaction numbers. Seven in 10 Visa cardholders are using their cards on their mobile phones - be it for in-app purchases or via e-wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.

Specifically, more than one in five Visa cardholders are actively using in-app payments, especially in ride-hailing apps, said Visa.

"The payment experience is becoming invisible and we believe this trend will continue with the introduction of more innovative players and services," said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa's country manager for Singapore and Brunei.

The survey also shows that one in four Internet users is using peer-to-peer mobile payment services to split a bill after a meal.

The service is available in banking apps such as DBS PayLah and OCBC Pay Anyone, with transfers made to people's bank accounts.

This process has become easier with the launch of PayNow, a fund-transfer system backed by the Association of Banks in Singapore.

PayNow lets people transfer money without the need for bank account numbers - a bugbear of those using e-payments. Users simply enter the recipient's mobile phone or NRIC number in any banking app.

The system maps mobile phone numbers or NRIC numbers to bank account numbers for funds to be credited.