Growth of mobile payments in Singapore places it ahead of the US and Australia

It looks like Singaporeans are bent on moving towards a cashless society, and many are whipping out their mobile phones to make payments even if security concerns still prevent consumers from using a mobile wallet.

According to J.D Power’s 2017 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study, usage of mobile payments linked to credit cards in Singapore has grown by 53% in the past year, and now stands at 40%.

This places the country on par with Hong Kong (41%) and ahead of countries like the United States (23%) and Australia (14%).

The study surveyed 2,903 credit card customers across 11 major credit card issuers.

J.D. Power conducts customer satisfaction research and provides consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region.

For those who chose not to use a mobile wallet, security was found to be the top concern. But with the recent slew of data breaches hitting even companies like Uber, this comes as no surprise.

In a statement released on Tuesday (Nov 28), Mr Anthony Chiam, Service Industry Practice lead at J.D. Power said: “Singapore cardholders are increasingly moving toward mobile payment platforms”.

“However, in order for cardholders to fully embrace the adoption of these services, trust is paramount and security concerns must be first addressed”.

The study also found that the lack of rewards and loyalty points (42%) and low merchant acceptance at retail stores or restaurants (20%) were the main reasons that cardholders did not use their primary card for mobile wallets.

When it came to making a credit card decision, key factors included the card’s rewards programme (37%), cashback (50%) and discounts and promotion (33%).

Nearly 80% of cardholders had a rewards programme, and the satisfaction among this group was higher than those who did not have such a programme.

With great satisfaction, comes great spending, as those with a rewards programme spent more too ($1,035 vs. $802 per month, respectively).

American Express ranked the highest in overall credit card satisfaction across six factors: credit card terms, rewards, benefits, billing and payment, customer interaction and problem resolution.

Here’s how the credit cards did:

J.D Power’s 2017 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study

But understanding how they could earn and redeem through their rewards programme was a different story, with only 26% of cardholders saying that they completely understood how it worked.