COVID-19 accelerates shift to digital payments in Singapore, says GlobalData

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated Singapore’s push to digital payments, with rise in card payments and decline in cash usage, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData estimates total card transactions (POS and ATM) in Singapore to grow marginally by 0.4% in 2020, compared to 7.8% growth in 2019. While card payments (POS) is forecasted to grow by 2.5% in 2020 to reach S$114.7bn (US$85.3bn), cash withdrawals at ATM is forecasted to decline by 3.4% during the same period.

Ravi Sharma, Lead Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Singapore is a highly developed contactless card markets, with most consumers having access to contactless card. The COVID-19 outbreak has spurred merchants to adopt electronic payments. Cash payments are set decline in the short-term in Singapore while card payments, particularly contactless payments, are expected to grow.”

Backing from big banks and large merchants has made contactless mainstream payment method in Singapore, as contactless cards are accepted by most retailers. The current pandemic is expected to further push the adoption and usage of contactless cards in the country.

Mr Sharma concludes: “The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions in Singapore have affected the consumer spending, resulting in the decline of payment transactions. With government gradually easing lockdown restrictions, rise in consumer spending is being witnessed. This, coupled with rise in contactless adoption, is expected to support card payment growth.”

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