Players in Singapore's payments sector have a "huge opportunity" in the Asia-Pacific contactless market, as long they can create "innovative and intelligent solutions," according to the managing director of FinTech company Wirecard.
Writing in a blog on the company website, Jeffry Ho says that Singapore is close to becoming a cashless society, thanks to "widespread contactless card acceptance and a high level of mobile readiness."
This is evident on Singapore's roads, with every car and motorcycle driver required to have an In-Vehicle-Unit fitted to the windscreen or the handlebars of their vehicle to pay for Electronic Road Pricing and for access to Electronic Parking System car parks.
Contactless payments are also making for smoother-running public transport, with commuters readily tapping their stored-value card at the entry and exit gates of stations, and at fare readers when boarding and alighting a bus.
Contactless payment has become an everyday part of life for millions of Singaporeans, making the city's car and payments market one of the most competitive and attractive markets in the Asia-Pacific region, as per P&S market research.
Meanwhile, MasterCard's global report shows that 69% of consumer spending in Singapore is made through electronic payments – the global average is 66% - which reveals the Republic to be one of the top three cashless countries in Asia-Pacific.
"This makes Singapore an ideal market for payment companies," writes Ho, who also notes that for every S$100 spent on personal consumption in Singapore, S$58 are completed through electronic payments.
He adds that the speed and convenience of contactless payments has made it an easy sell to both merchants and consumers alike – and it won't be long before mobile payments are made at the point-of-sale.
The opportunity, then, is palpable for payments-sector players – but it's up to them to grasp it, Ho concludes.