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Singapore Country Report

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  • Published Date: February 2020

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and merchant acquirer market in Singapore.

Although growth prospects are being hampered by negative global variables, payments players and regulators continue to push seamless solutions, collaboration and interoperability. The new Payment Services Act has changed the game for providers in that space, while the opening up of the highly developed payments sector for mass transit will boost transactions for global schemes.

Cash remains stubbornly popular, despite residents' love of both payment cards and smartphones, but the city-state's new unified QR standard is threatening cash in its low transaction-value strongholds. Meanwhile, a pair of retail digital bank licences are to be issued in 2020, along with three wholesale equivalents: the regulator has stipulated that the new licensees must be locally controlled.

What you will learn from this Singapore cards market report:

  • How cash is slowly but surely departing everyday life in Singapore
  • Why QR code innovations are set to influence the region
  • How cooperation among rivals continues to be transformative
  • Which Singapore regulatory changes are proving decisive – and how
  • How mass transit is set to boost the global card schemes in Singapore


  • Three local banks, DBS, UOB and OCBC, dominate the Singapore market, with competition provided by foreign banks such as Citibank and HSBC.
  • The use of cash and cheques as a means of payment for consumer transactions has decreased in recent years, with electronic payments becoming ever more popular.
  • Cash though remains prevalent at dining halls, hawker stalls and wet markets, all fixtures of everyday life in Singapore.
  • A Singapore government initiative aims to reduce cash usage at such merchants by providing point-of-sale devices based on an interoperable QR code and a subsidised merchant service charge.
  • Singapore has a thriving credit card market, with attractive rewards available to the large affluent segment.
  • There were an estimated 3.3 billion e-money transactions in 2019, dwarfing the 1.4 billion made using credit and debit cards.
  • Since 2019 however, commuters with contactless Mastercard- and Visa-branded cards can tap and pay on public transport.
  • Domestic rivals have demonstrated a capacity to cooperate, most dramatically with NETS, built by the three major local banks.
  • The latest example is the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR), the product of a partnership involving dozens of players that agreed on a common QR code and unified point-of-sale terminals.

Singapore Payments Research | Report Contents

Key Topics
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card data numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: The card networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Singapore Payments Trends | Entities Referenced

Adyen Alipay American Express Ant Financial ANZ Apple Pay Asia Pay Association of Banks in Singapore Banco Nacional Ultramarino Bank OCBC NISP Bank of China Bank of China Singapore Bank of Singapore Banking Computer Services BCS BCS Information Systems BCSIS BNU BOC BOCSG Braintree Caltex CapitaLand CapitaVoucher Carousell CAS CBS CC Financial CCS Central Addressing Scheme CEPAS Citibank Citibank Singapore Credit Bureau Singapore Credit Counselling Singapore Credit Saison CTS Dash DBS DBS PayLah! Development Bank of Singapore DFB Digibank Diners Club DWB EasyCard Corporation eBay eNETS Enterprise Singapore Esso EZi Wallet EZ-Link EZ-Reload FAST Fast And Secure Transfers FDMS First Data First Data Merchant Solutions Fiserv GFIN Global Financial Innovation Network Global Trading Pay Gojek Google Google Pay Grab GrabPay GTPay Guangdong Lingnan Pass Guangzhou Knowledge City HDB Housing and Development Board HSBC IB Asia ICBC IMDA Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Info-communications Media Development Authority Islamic Bank of Asia JCB JTC JTC Corporation Kuriya Japanese Market Land Transport Authority Lazada Lee Hsien Loong Liquid Pay LTA MAS Mastercard Maybank Meidi-Ya Monetary Authority of Singapore MotorPay MyInfo National Environment Agency NEA NETS NETS EFTPOS NETS FlashPay NETSPay NETSTARS OCBC OCBC Al-Amin OCBC Wing Hang China Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Payment Council Payment Services Act 2019 PayNow PayNow QR PayPal PayPass PayWave Piyush Gupta POSB Post Office Savings Bank PSA Qoo10 Rakuten Singapore Redmart Repayment Assistance Scheme Robinsons Samsung Pay SGQR Shopback SimplyGo Singapore Airlines Singapore Quick Response Code SingPass Singsaver Singstat Singtel Dash SINO Visitor Pass Smart Nation SmoovPay Standard Chartered Stripe Takashimaya Taobao Marketplace Temasek Tencent Tmall.com TMRW Unified Point-of-Sale UnionPay UOB UPOS vCashCard Visa WeChat Pay Wirecard World Economic Forum Worldpay XFERS Wallet Zalora


Verisk financial reports deliver detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquirers, retail banking, and consumer credit in the Asia Pacific region. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

See more Asia-Pacific Country Reports or explore the full range of cards and payments reports available for 72 markets worldwide.

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