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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 report:

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

Singapore Cards and Payments Market Trends

  • Three local banks, DBS, UOB and OCBC, dominate the 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 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 cards 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 Country Report Table of Contents

Key facts
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 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 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: Key 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

Entities referenced in this report

-American Express
-Ant Financial
-Apple Pay
-Asia Pay
-Association of Banks in Singapore
-Banco Nacional Ultramarino
-Bank of China
-Bank of China Singapore
-Bank of Singapore
-Banking Computer Services
-BCS Information Systems
-CC Financial
-Central Addressing Scheme
-Citibank Singapore
-Credit Bureau Singapore
-Credit Counselling Singapore
-Credit Saison
-DBS PayLah!
-Development Bank of Singapore
-Diners Club
-EasyCard Corporation
-Enterprise Singapore
-EZi Wallet
-Fast And Secure Transfers
-First Data
-First Data Merchant Solutions
-Global Financial Innovation Network
-Global Trading Pay
-Google Pay
-Guangdong Lingnan Pass
-Guangzhou Knowledge City
-Housing and Development Board
-IB Asia
-Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
-Info-communications Media Development Authority
-Islamic Bank of Asia
-JTC Corporation
-Kuriya Japanese Market
-Land Transport Authority
-Lee Hsien Loong
-Liquid Pay
-Monetary Authority of Singapore
-National Environment Agency
-NETS FlashPay
-OCBC Al-Amin
-OCBC Wing Hang China
-Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
-Payment Council
-Payment Services Act 2019
-PayNow QR
-Piyush Gupta
-Post Office Savings Bank
-Rakuten Singapore
-Repayment Assistance Scheme
-Samsung Pay
-Singapore Airlines
-Singapore Quick Response Code
-Singtel Dash
-SINO Visitor Pass
-Smart Nation
-Standard Chartered
-Taobao Marketplace
-Unified Point-of-Sale
-WeChat Pay
-World Economic Forum
-XFERS Wallet


Available for 72 markets, Verisk Financial Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.

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