Payments Snapshot in Singapore - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sector Impact

Payments Snapshot in Singapore - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sector Impact


The Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak, dubbed COVID-19, is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting millions of people globally. The contagious Coronavirus, which broke out at the close of 2019, has led to a medical emergency across the world, with the World Health Organization officially declaring the novel coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The virus has spread to 190 countries/regions with over 18 million confirmed cases, with its spread outpacing other major infectious outbreaks from the past.

The ongoing pandemic has affected Singapore’s economy, resulting in a slowdown in exports, disruptions to global supply chains, a fall in tourism, and a decline in the domestic consumption of goods and services. With the government now easing some lockdown restrictions in a phased manner, a gradual recovery in the economy and consumer spending should be observed.

On April 2, ratings agency Moody's downgraded the country’s banking sector from “stable” to “negative” on the back of rising bad loans and deteriorating profitability caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

This report focuses on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on both the economyand the cards and payments industry in Singapore. Based on our proprietary datasets, the snapshotprovides a detailed comparison between pre-COVID-19 forecasts andrevised forecasts of total payment card, debit card, and credit and charge card transactions by value and volume. It also offers information on measures taken by the government to combat coronavirus.


  • Tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors in Singapore. According to the Singapore Tourism Board, the country is losing 18,000-20,000 international visitors every day since the outbreak of the virus. Total arrivals in 2019 stood at 19.1 million, while tourism receipts stood at S$27.1bn ($20.15bn). Payment companies are losing out on a significant opportunity due to the reduced spending in this critical area. However, the government started allowing tourism businesses and hotels to operate from July 1, 2020. With the revival of tourism activities, a recovery in the payments industry can be expected.
  • Consumers will shift from cash-based payments to digital payment tools, particularly non-contact tools, when transacting in stores, with the use of contactless cards and mobile wallets expected to rise. In addition, Singapore is one of the most highly developed contactless card markets in the world, with the majority of consumers having access to a contactless payment card. Backing from big banks and large merchants has made contactless a mainstream payment method, accepted by everyone from retailers to hawker centers (markets of small businesses and sole traders).
  • In addition to contactless cards and mobile wallets, payments using the Singapore QR Code (SGQR) - a common standard for QR code payments that is designed to work across all schemes, e-wallets, and banks - will see a surge in adoption and usage.
Reasons to Buy
  • Make strategic decisions using top-level revised forecast data on Singapore's payment industry.
  • Understand the key market trends, challenges, and opportunities in Singapore's cards and payments industry.
  • Receive a comprehensive insight into payments market in Singapore.

COVID-19 Update
Impact Assessment
Total Payment Card Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Debit Card Payment Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Credit and Charge Card Payment Market vs. Pre-COVID-19 Forecasts
Job Analysis
Supplementary Data
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