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Singapore Country Report

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  • Published Date: October 2021

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and merchant acquirer market in Singapore with clear-sighted commentary supported by recent data.
Forward-looking regulation and a proactive central bank have kept Singapore at the forefront of international trends when it comes to payments, with the competitive landscape newly refreshed through the recent Payment Services Act and high-profile granting of new digital bank licences.
Though small, the city-state is influential and strongly interconnected with its neighbours and trading partners.
New entrants who find a sound commercial footing here should be able to rapidly replicate their offerings in the Southeast Asia region more generally.

What you can learn from this Singapore cards market report:

Why Singapore is a front runner in payments' transformation.
How a consumer-centric mindset is yielding fruit.
Which revenue streams are recovering best from the 2020 dip.
How e-wallets are beginning to compete with cards online.

SINGAPORE CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORT | KEY FACTS

  • Covid-19 led Singapore's economy to post a worst-for-a-decade recession in 2020. The US-China trade war has also been unhelpful to growth.
  • Cash and cheques have been used less by consumers in recent years, with the shift to electronic payments accelerated by the pandemic.
  • Despite public and private initiatives to provide point-of-sale devices based on an interoperable QR code, cash remains prevalent at dining halls, hawker stalls and wet markets, all fixtures of everyday life in Singapore.
  • Between 2015 and 2020, the value of electronic payments climbed by ten percent to reach three-quarters of total payments value.
  • Cards are the preferred means of payment; there will be about 3.1 payment cards per adult by the end of 2021.
  • Singapore has a thriving credit cards market, although pre-tax profit decreased significantly because of the coronavirus crisis.
  • There were 51 million e-money cards in circulation in 2020, mainly used to pay for public transportation fares. However, since 2019, commuters with contactless Mastercard- and Visa-branded cards can also tap and pay for such services.
  • Consumer finance and payments here are controlled mainly by the three biggest local banks, with some competition from foreign players.
  • Domestic rivals have demonstrated a capacity to cooperate, most dramatically with NETS. QR code interoperability has been another win.
  • Non-financial institutions have been allowed to connect to the instant payment platforms FAST and PayNow since February 2021.

Singapore Payments Research | Report Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Singapore 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: Singapore Payments Data Tables

Appendix I: Demographic and economic indicators

Data table 1: Demographic and economic indicators: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 2: Ownership of key consumer devices: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 3: Internet usage by population: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.

Appendix II: Payments environment

Data table 4: Access points: 2015-2020. Estimates to 2022.
Data table 5: Account penetration: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 6: Consumer payment: trends 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 7: B2C e-commerce payment methods: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.

Appendix III: Cards market

Data table 8: Total cards payment metrics: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 9: Contactless cards metrics: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 10: Credit card numbers: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 11: Total credit cards metrics: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 12: Credit cards profitability indicators: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 13: Debit cards numbers: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 14: Debit cards metrics: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 15: Prepaid/e-money cards metrics: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

Data table 16: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2017-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 17: Mobile P2P payments: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.

Appendix V: Profit pool

Data table 18: Singapore market profit pool: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2024 including credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).

Appendix VI: Card networks

Data table 19: Networks' credit card market shares: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 20: Networks' credit card data numbers: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 21: Networks' credit card billed volume: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 22: Networks' number of credit card transactions: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 23: Networks' average credit card transaction value: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 24: Credit card interchange fees by network: 2015-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 25: Networks' debit card market shares: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 26: Networks' debit card data numbers: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 27: Networks' debit card billed volume: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 28: Networks' number of debit card transactions: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 29: Networks' average debit card transaction value: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 30: Debit card interchange fees by network: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

Data table 31: Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers: 2017-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 32: Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings: 2017-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.
Data table 33: Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers: 2017-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2022.

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

Data table 34: Merchant acquirer credit card market share: Estimates for 2021.
Data table 35: Credit card merchant service charges: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 36: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: Estimates for 2021.
Data table 37: Debit card merchant service charges: 2015-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2024.
Data table 38: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
Data table 39: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
Data table 40: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers: Estimates for 2021.
Data table 41: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions: Estimates for 2021.

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

Data table 42: Online merchant acquirer market share. Estimates for 2021.

Singapore Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
The Republic of Singapore is located off the Malayan Peninsula between Malaysia and Indonesia. The small city-state's population is estimated at 5.8 million as of the end of 2021: the European microstate of Monaco aside, it is the most densely populated country in the world.

Payments Environment
As part of continuous efforts to introduce new digital payment options, the central banks of Singapore and India announced in September 2021 the intention to link PayNow and India's real-time payment system UPI (Unified Payments Interface) by July 2022.

Cards Market
Payment cards are very popular here, with around 94% of adults holding a debit card and 75% a credit card. However, over the research period, the combined number of debit and credit cards in issue decreased by three percent.

Mobile Payments
In Singapore, mobile payments have been gaining acceptance thanks to the deep penetration of internet/smartphones along with wide broadband coverage. Supermarkets, fast food restaurants and public transportation are among the key drivers of mobile payments growth.

Profit Pool
Singapore's credit cards market maintains healthy profitability, despite a 29% decrease in pre-tax profit in 2020. The pandemic-triggered combination of lower card billings and outstandings were the main drivers for this decrease.

Card Networks
Visa and Mastercard have established themselves as the leading payment card brands in Singapore with a combined 70% market share of cards in issue by end of 2020. All debit cards here operate on the NETS domestic debit scheme.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
There are five key issuers in Singapore's credit cards market: DBS, OCBC, Citibank, UOB, and HSBC. This quintet will account for an estimated 77% of credit cards in issue in the country by the end of 2021.

Acquiring and Processing
The number of merchants accepting credit cards in Singapore stood at some 146,000 at the end of 2021. Most banks in Singapore undertake processing in-house, although DBS opted to outsource its merchant processing services to FDMS ... to secure a strong foothold in the region.

Online Acquiring
The total value of online card transactions acquired in Singapore reached an estimated $41.9 billion in 2021, with the number of transactions standing at 808 million.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is both central bank and financial services regulator, supervising all financial institutions. MAS also works with the financial industry to develop Singapore as a dynamic international financial centre.

Singapore Payments Trends | Entities Referenced

Adyen
Alipay
Amazon
American Express
Android Pay
Ant Financial
ANZ
Apple Pay
ASEAN
Asia Pay
Aspire Lifestyles
Association of Banks in Singapore
Audible
Bank for International Settlements
Bank of China
Banking Computer Services
BCS
BCS Information Systems
BCSIS
Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management
BIS
BOC
Braintree
Caltex
Capita3Eats
CapitaLand
CapitaVoucher
CC Financial
CEPAS
Citi
Citibank
ComfortDelGro
Contactless e-Purse Application
Credit Bureau Singapore
DBS
DBS PayLah!
Development Bank of Singapore
Diners Club
Disney+
DuitNow
eCapitaMall
eCapitaVoucher
eNETS
Enterprise Singapore
ERA Singapore
ERP
Esso
Ezbuy
EZi Wallet
EZ-Link
Ezy Net
Facebook
FAST
Fast And Secure Transfers
Favepay
FCA
Financial Conduct Authority
First Data
FIS
Fiserv
Fitbit Pay
FRANK
General Interbank Recurring Order platform
GFIN
GIRO platform
Global Financial Innovation Network
Global Payments
Global Trading Pay
Google Pay
Grab
GrabPay
Greenland Financial Holdings
GTPay
HDB
Housing and Development Board
HSBC
IB Asia
ICBC
IMDA
IMF
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
Infocomm Media Development Authority
International Telecommunication Union
Islamic Bank of Asia
ITU
iTunes
JCB
Johan Holdings
JTC Corporation
Land Transport Authority
Lazada
Linklogis Hong Kong
Liquid Pay
LiquidNet
LTA
LytePay
M1
MAS
Mastercard
Matchmove
Maybank
Monetary Authority of Singapore
MotorPay
MyInfo
National Environment Agency
NEA
Netflix
NETS
NETS CashCard
NETS EFTPOS
NETS FlashPay
NETS Motoring Card
NETSPay
OCBC
OCBC Pay Anyone
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
PayNow
PayNow Corporate
PayPal
POSB
Post Office Savings Bank
Qoo10
Rapyd
Razer
Retailer Stored Value Programme
RSVP
Samsung Pay
Sea
SG Digital Office
SGFinDex
SGQR
Shopee
SimplyGo
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Financial Data Exchange
Singapore FinTech Association
Singapore Payment Council
Singapore Quick Response Code
Singapore Telecommunications
SingPass
Singtel
Singtel Dash
Smart Nation
SMBC
SmoovPay
SMRT
Spotify
Standard Chartered
Stripe
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
Takashimaya
Tencent
TMRW
TNG
Touch 'n Go
Unified Payments Interface
UnionPay
United Overseas Bank
UOB
UOB Mighty
UPI
vCashCard
VIA alliance
Visa
Viu
WeChat Pay
Wirecard
Wise
World Bank
Worldpay

MORE ASIA-PACIFIC CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORTS

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.

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