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Payments Landscape in Singapore: Opportunities and Risks to 2021

Payments Landscape in Singapore: Opportunities and Risks to 2021

Summary

Singapore’s debit card market is dominated by local debit card scheme provider NETS, which accounted for over 85% of the market’s transaction value in 2017. High acceptability among merchants due to low charges led to its popularity. To compete with NETS, international schemes are making efforts in the form of reducing interchange fees, launching promotional campaigns, and introducing advanced technologies, such as Visa Checkout and Masterpass.

Singapore displayed the highest growth in e-commerce during the review period (2013-17e), compared to its peers. Debit and credit cards together accounted for over 40% of the total value of e-commerce transactions in Singapore in 2017, although bank transfer is the second most popular single payment tool with a share of about 13%. Cash and cheques remain popular payment tools even for online purchases, revealing both the traditional role of cash and the importance of comfort when shopping online.

Electronic payments in Singapore have steadily gained prominence, and the country has invested substantially in building long-term infrastructure for cashless payments. Widely available financial products, a competitive merchant marketplace, and a transparent business environment are strongly connected with progress towards a cashless society. The adoption of contactless technology, mobile payments, and chip-and-PIN technology has also supported the shift towards electronic payments.

Contactless has become a mainstream payment method in Singapore, with banks, retailers, transit systems, and universities embracing the technology. Banks in Singapore have been at the forefront in embracing this technology, with the major banks - DBS Bank, UOB Bank, OCBC Bank, Citibank, and Standard Chartered Bank - now offering contactless cards. With the necessary payment infrastructure in place and a high smartphone penetration rate, NFC mobile payments were a natural extension, allowing users to make payments with their mobile phones.

The report Payments Landscape in Singapore: Opportunities and Risks to 2021, provide top-level market analysis, information and insights into the Singaporean cards and payments industry.

Specifically, this report includes -

  • Current and forecast values for each market in the Singaporean cards and payments industry, including debit, credit, and charge cards.
  • Detailed insights into payment instruments including credit transfers, cheques, direct debit, cash, and payment cards. It also, includes an overview of the country's key alternative payment instruments.
  • E-commerce market analysis and payment methods.
  • Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing the Singaporean cards and payments industry.
  • Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit, credit, and charge cards.
Companies mentioned in this report: DBS Bank, UOB, OCBC Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered, NETS, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, China UnionPay, and JCB

Scope
  • To simplify electronic and mobile payments in the country, in November 2017 the Singapore Payments Council announced the development of a common standard for Singapore Quick Response Code payments within the market, designed to work across all schemes, e-wallets, and banks. The new QR system was developed by an industry taskforce co-led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority. It uses international QR code protocols tweaked for the specific requirements of the market. The system will be adopted and deployed by payment service providers in Singapore throughout 2018. Additionally, app providers and banks have agreed to update their services in order to use the new system. For consumers, this new standard potentially means that any QR code-based service they choose can be used at any merchant, simplifying the purchasing experience. For merchants this move will reduce any work required to accept multiple QR code-based services.
  • To offer instant payments, a new peer-to-peer (P2P) fund transfer service PayNow was launched in June 2017. This service is available to customers of Citibank Singapore, DBS Bank, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB. Customers of these seven participating banks can send and receive Singapore dollar funds from one bank to another instantly through the FAST payment platform, using just their mobile number or National Registration Identity Card number. According to the Association of Banks in Singapore, more than 50,000 registrations were received to link mobile numbers to bank accounts through PayNow on launch day alone.
  • To offer convenient transport payments, in March 2017 Mastercard and the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) launched a pilot scheme whereby passengers can use Mastercard-branded contactless cards to make public transport payments. According to the LTA, more than 100,000 commuters have signed up for the pilot since its launch, and an average of 60,000 transactions are being made daily. To enable even more commuters to use this service, Visa and NETS will also come on board from June 2018. Furthermore, as part of the pilot with Mastercard, the LTA will trial the use of mobile payment solutions such as Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay for public transport payments from the first quarter of 2018.
Reasons to buy
  • Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Singapore cards and payments industry and each market within it.
  • Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in the Singapore cards and payments industry.
  • Assess the competitive dynamics in the Singapore cards and payments industry.
  • Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Singapore.
  • Gain insights into key regulations governing the Singapore cards and payments industry.


  • Market Overview
    • Table Singapore: key facts, 2017e
    • Table Regional benchmarking of payment cards, 2017e
  • CARD-BASED PAYMENTS
    • Payment Cards: Market Sizing and Forecasting
    • Debit Cards: Market Sizing and Forecasting
    • Debit Cards: Schemes
    • Debit Cards: Issuers
    • Pay-later Cards: Market Sizing and Forecasting
    • Pay-later Cards: Schemes
    • Pay-later Cards: Issuers
    • Prepaid Cards: Market Sizing and Forecasting
  • E-COMMERCE PAYMENTS
    • E-commerce: Market Sizing & Forecasting
    • E-commerce: Market by Payment Tool
  • ALTERNATIVE PAYMENTS
    • Alternative Payments: Payment Solutions
  • PAYMENTS INFRASTRUCTURE & REGULATION
    • POS Terminals & ATMs
    • Acquiring & Processing
    • Regulatory Environment
  • Appendix
    • Abbreviations, acronyms, and definitions
    • Supplementary data
      • Table Singapore: payment instrument transaction values (S$bn), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: payment instrument transaction values (US$bn), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: payment instrument transaction volumes (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: payment cards in circulation by type (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: volume of payment card transactions (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: value of payment card transactions (S$bn), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: value of payment card transactions (US$bn), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: debit cards in circulation (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction volumes, 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction values (S$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction value (US$$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: debit cards in circulation by scheme (millions), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction values by scheme (S$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction values by scheme (US$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction values by issuer (S$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: debit card transaction values by issuer (US$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: pay-later cards in circulation (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction volumes, 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction values (S$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction values (US$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: pay-later cards in circulation by scheme (000s), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction values by scheme (S$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction values by scheme (US$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction values by issuer (S$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card transaction values by issuer (US$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: credit cards in circulation (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: credit card transaction volumes, 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: credit card transaction values (S$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: credit card transaction values (US$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: credit cards in circulation by scheme (000s), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: credit card transaction values by scheme (S$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: credit card transaction values by scheme (US$bn), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: charge cards in circulation (000s), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: charge card transaction volumes, 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: charge card transaction values (S$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: charge card transaction values (US$), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: charge card transaction values by scheme (US$m), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: charge card transaction values by scheme (S$m), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: charge cards in circulation by scheme (000s), 2013-17e
      • Table Singapore: prepaid cards in circulation (millions), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: merchant acquiring transaction volumes (millions), 2012-20f
      • Table Singapore: merchant acquiring transaction values (S$bn), 2012-20f
      • Table Singapore: prepaid card transaction values (S$bn), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: prepaid card transaction values (US$bn), 2013-21f
      • Table Singapore: acquirers' transaction values (S$bn), 2011-15
      • Table Singapore: acquirers' transaction volumes (millions), 2011-15
      • Table Singapore: merchant acquiring transaction values (US$bn), 2012-20f
      • Table Singapore: debit card merchant service charge and interchange fee (%), 2012-20f
      • Table Singapore: debit card average interchange fees (%), 2011-15
      • Table Singapore: retail outlets and card-accepting merchants (000s), 2012-20f
      • Table Singapore: acquirers' transaction values (US$bn), 2011-15
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card merchant service charge and interchange fee (%), 2012-20f
      • Table Singapore: pay-later card average interchange fees (%), 2011-15

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