More people paying via phone apps: Poll

OCBC Pay Anyone lets the bank’s e-banking customers send up to $100 to any friends on Facebook, or a mobile phone and e-mail contact.
OCBC Pay Anyone lets the bank’s e-banking customers send up to $100 to any friends on Facebook, or a mobile phone and e-mail contact. PHOTO: ST FILE

Driven by on-demand services, over 70% of people pay for goods and services this way

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

The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey 2016, released yesterday, shows that more than seven out of 10 people pay 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 people in the previous year's Visa study.

Visa attributed the increase to the popularity of what it called "on-demand services" - such as those provided by ride-hailing apps Grab and Uber, food delivery apps Deliveroo and Foodpanda, and grocery delivery apps RedMart and honestbee.

Some of these apps do not accept cash, which is why account manager Kelly Kin, 29, uses her credit card for grocery and meal delivery services from RedMart and Foodpanda respectively.

"So far the experience has been good; I've not had to dispute any unauthorised charges," she said.

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

The findings are consistent with Visa's internal transaction numbers. Seven in 10 Visa cardholders use 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.

The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey 2016, released yesterday, shows that more than seven out of 10 people pay 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 people in the previous year's Visa study.

Specifically, more than one in five Visa cardholders actively use their cards for in-app payments, especially ride-hailing apps.

Sales executive Faith Heng, 39, said she has been using her credit card to buy stored value in the Grab app due to its aggressive $5-off- rides promotion.

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

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.

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 phone or NRIC numbers to bank account numbers for funds to be credited.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'More people paying via phone apps: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe