Singapore leads Southeast Asia with 97% cashless payment adoption rate

Photo via TODAY/Raj Nadarajan

In Singapore, a growing majority of people are opting for cashless payment methods, with the country’s adoption rate of such payments being the highest in Southeast Asia at 97%. This trend has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and an ongoing national drive for a less-cash society.

Digital wallets are expected to overtake credit cards as the most popular online payment method in Singapore by 2026, according to a 2023 Global Payments report by financial technology company FIS.

However, not everyone is embracing the convenience of cashless payments, with the elderly in particular preferring to handle cash. Concerns about scams and the complexity of electronic payment methods have hindered adoption among this demographic. Recent service disruptions have also raised questions about the reliability of e-payments and the inconvenience they create when services are down.

Business and technology experts suggest that having multiple payment options available is one way to ensure the resilience of the e-payment landscape. In the face of service disruptions and the rise of scams, some experts now see the benefits of having a variety of payment methods.

Education for consumers, including financial literacy and understanding e-payment technologies, is also crucial in helping users become more tech-savvy and alert to potential scams.

Despite the ubiquity of e-payments in Singapore, experts agree that the country should not aim to be a fully cashless society, as cash still plays an important role, especially among the elderly, and serves as a fallback when e-payment systems are down.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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