Credit cards still most preferred payment mode in S'pore: Report

While cash was the top payment option at points of sale in 2017, plastic was preferred by more consumers, with credit and debit card purchases making up 53 per cent of point-of-sale transactions.
While cash was the top payment option at points of sale in 2017, plastic was preferred by more consumers, with credit and debit card purchases making up 53 per cent of point-of-sale transactions.PHOTO: ST FILE

They appear to be all the rage in the financial world, but mobile or e-wallets have yet to change payment habits among consumers despite Singapore's tech-savvy culture, according to a report out yesterday.

It noted that credit cards were still the most preferred way to pay for online and offline purchases last year, accounting for 67 per cent of payment methods.

E-wallets tied with bank transfers for second place, each constituting 10 per cent of payment methods.

Cash-on-delivery was next with 5 per cent, then charge and deferred debit cards and debit cards both at 4 per cent.

Cash was king for offline or point-of-sale purchases last year, comprising 40 per cent of all transactions. Credit cards were next at 30 per cent and debit cards third with 23 per cent, noted payment processing company Worldpay.

E-wallets took fourth place with only 4 per cent, followed by pre-paid cards and charge and deferred debit cards with 2 per cent each.

While cash was the top payment option at points of sale last year, plastic was preferred by more consumers, with credit and debit card purchases making up 53 per cent of point-of-sale transactions.

"Despite the country's tech-savvy culture and high smartphone adoption rate, e-wallets haven't changed payment habits yet, although they do contend with bank transfer for second-place share online," the report said.

Last year, the online or e-commerce spend per head here was US$889 (S$1,230), while the offline or point-of-sale spend per capita was US$21,481.

The report estimates that e-wallets will be the top payment method with 52 per cent of people in the Asia-Pacific for online or e-commerce purchases, surpassing credit cards at 17 per cent and bank transfers at 12 per cent.

Globally, e-wallets will also be the top method, accounting for 36 per cent of payments, followed by credit cards (23 per cent) and debit cards (12 per cent). But cash will still rule for offline or point-of-sale purchases in the Asia-Pacific this year, with estimates that it will account for 30 per cent of payments, with e-wallets close behind at 27 per cent.

Globally, cash will also emerge as the top payment method with 31 per cent, followed by debit cards (29 per cent) and credit cards (20 per cent). Notably, e-wallets will come in fourth with only 16 per cent.

Worldpay's report analysed data from 36 countries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2018, with the headline 'Credit cards still most preferred payment mode in S'pore: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe