BRANDED CONTENT

Convenient tap-and-go commutes: More Singaporeans using contactless payment for transport

The 2021 Visa Urban Mobility study revealed that convenience is a key driver in the increased adoption of credit card and mobile wallet payment methods for commute

A survey conducted by Visa last year found that there has been an increase in the adoption of contactless payment methods among commuters in Singapore. Ease of speed of payments and convenience were the top reasons to use these payment methods. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Media professional Zach Neo uses his smartwatch to tap and pay for his MRT commute to the office.

The 39-year-old has not used his stored-value travel card to pay for his bus and train rides since he bought his smartwatch two years ago.

Instead, he uses a credit card stored on his smartwatch to pay for his commutes.

“It’s much easier and faster for me to use my smartwatch, rather than fumble through my wallet to get my stored-value travel card out,” says Mr Neo, who now commutes to his office in One-North two days a week. He works from home three days of the week. 

“I don’t even need to top up my stored-value travel card as I pay for my commute with my credit card.”

He is a frequent user of contactless payments, using his smartwatch to pay for shopping or at F&B outlets.

As a result, he hardly carries any cash with him. In fact, he can’t remember the last time he withdrew cash from the ATM.

Contactless transactions replacing traditional payment mode

A survey conducted by Visa last year has shown that Mr Neo is not alone: There has been a growing awareness and an increase in the adoption of contactless payment methods among commuters here.

The 2021 Visa Urban Mobility study, which surveyed 1,061 Singaporean participants above 18 years old (from June 7 to 8, 2021), has revealed that convenience is a key driver in using contactless payments for public transport in the new normal.

The Visa Urban Mobility Study 2021 was aimed at understanding Singaporean consumers’ attitudes towards different modes of transport and receptiveness towards contactless payment methods.​

The survey found that ease of speed of payments was the top reason (51 per cent) for commuters to use the contactless method, while convenience from not needing to top up their stored-value travel cards came in a close second (48 per cent).

Remote video URL

Contactless card payments, such as using credit cards to tap, made up 17 per cent of the survey participants’ method of payment, with mobile contactless payments at 14 per cent.

At 65 per cent, stored-value travel cards remain the most preferred mode of payment, according to the survey, while one in four Singapore consumers (25 per cent) used contactless or mobile contactless cards more frequently in the past year to pay for bus and train trips.

Commuters are drawn to contactless payments due to their time-saving positives, such as not needing to top up, according to the survey. By using their smartphones or smartwatches to tap, commuters can still travel even if they have forgotten their wallets at home.

In-app payments to save time and earn points

The trend for contactless payments extends to ride-hailing apps, according to the survey.

Participants cited the convenience of not needing to take out the wallet to pay for their trip at the end of the ride, and being able to alight quickly from the vehicle and be on their way once they reach their destination. 

Visa has been working with the LTA to make public transport more seamless and convenient. Through its collaboration, more commuters are using Visa’s payment network every day to pay for their rides through secure contactless and in-app payments. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Furthermore, users can earn points and rewards from using their in-app payments for transport or retail and food & beverage outlets, whether it is through credit cards or the in-app e-wallet.  

The survey found that credit cards saved in-app was the preferred method of contactless payment among frequent taxi passengers (26 per cent) and private-hire cars (29 per cent).

Participants cited convenience as the top reason for preferring to pay with their debit cards and credit cards saved in-app, as well as in-app e-wallets.

Earning points and rewards in the ride-hailing app are also one of the reasons why commuters use in-app payments, (58 per cent for e-wallets, 36 per cent for credit cards), while debit card users like in-app payments for easy tracking of their expenditures (46 per cent).

The future of urban mobility

Visa has been working with the Land Transport Authority since 2019 to make public transport more seamless and convenient.

Participants of the Visa Urban Mobility study cited convenience as the top reason for preferring to pay with their debit cards and credit cards saved in-app, as well as in-app e-wallets. PHOTO: VISA

Through its collaboration with LTA, more commuters are using Visa’s payment network every day to pay for their rides through secure contactless and in-app payments.

Visa is constantly working with partners in Singapore and around the world to improve the commuter experience and make contactless and in-app payments the default way to travel. 

“The rapid growth in digital payments around the globe serves as proof for how attractive this payment method has become to consumers. For the first time ever, Visa’s network has processed over one billion tap-to-ride transactions on global transit systems in a single year,” says Mr Kunal Chatterjee, Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, Visa.

“Transit contributes to a large portion of contactless transactions in Singapore, and there’s opportunity for further growth. Commuters want their door-to-door journeys to be quick and seamless, and using their mobile devices to tap and pay for transit allows them to enjoy convenient, intuitive, and secure payments that keep them going. Enabling tap to pay for transit is part of the work Visa has done over the past 60 years to transform the way people transact, commute, and grow, and we will continue working with our partners to revolutionise transit journeys through payments in Singapore and around the world,” he adds. 

For more information, visit https://www.visa.com.sg/pay-with-visa/featured-technologies/transit.html

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.