Move to cashless society continues
Consumers in Singapore are getting more accustomed to using cards for payments rather than cash. With long queues at bank tellers, many customers rely on their ATM cards for cash withdrawals at the machines where the queues usually move faster and which are in convenient locations. Cash is often used for payment at small businesses such as at the hawker centres and wet markets. When consumers are at merchants that accept other forms of payment such as debit cards, credit cards or pre-paid cards, they prefer the cashless payment since they do not need to handle cash and coins, while card payments, especially credit cards, usually offer promotions and accumulate rewards or rebates for the cardholders. The habit of using pre-paid cards on public transport is well-established for its convenience; it also has lower fares compared to cash.
Credit cards becoming more popular
Credit cards became very popular during the review period. Promotions offered at the merchants, chances for lucky draws, privileges given to cardholders, benefits of accumulating reward points and rebates all attracted more people to apply for credit cards as well as increasing their usage. The increasing popularity of online shopping that requires use of credit cards or debit cards also encouraged more young adults to apply for one when they are eligible.
Local banks know their customer base
With the huge customer base among local banks, cards issued by them are better at catering to the needs of these local consumers. Most of the ATM cards issued by the local banks include debit function that is accepted by many merchants. Credit cards issued by local banks suit the day-to-day needs of the cardholders such as providing rebates on utility bills paid via credit cards, rebates at popular drugstores and supermarkets where cardholders can save substantial amounts on their groceries.
Enhanced security for cards
To ensure better security for card transactions in Singapore, the Association of Banks in Singapore announced that all ATM cards will be replaced with new cards that are embedded with EMV chip to prevent skimming. The replacement exercise will be completed by the end of 2014. All magnetic strips on debit cards and credit cards will also be deactivated by October 2013 and all cardholders will need to notify the banks to activate the strip if they need to travel overseas where EMV technology is less common.
More cashless payments
Consumers will continue to use their cards more at the check-out in order to enjoy their benefits. As many young consumers watch how common it is to use card payments, they will be more inclined to do this once they are allowed to own the cards. The convenience of using card payments, as well as issuers and operators ensuring that cardholders are getting more benefits such as wider merchant acceptance, will further increase the popularity of card payments in the forecast period.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Financial Cards and Payments industry in Singapore with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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The Financial Cards and Payments in Singapore market research report includes:
- Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
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Our market research reports answer questions such as:
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- How will regulation impact the market?
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