Singapore is one of the first countries in Asia to launch Android Pay and the third location worldwide after the US and the UK.
Android Pay works with MasterCard and Visa as well as credit and debit cards from many of Singapore’s major financial institutions: DBS, OCBC Bank, POSB, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB as participating banks.
According to Google’s 2015 Consumer Barometer, Singapore has one of the highest rates of smartphone adoption, at 88%, in the world. With over 30,000 payment terminals island wide that accepts Near Field Communication, and mobile payments picking up speed, Android Pay comes in at an opportune time for users here. Android users can now pay with their phones as a secure and safer way than using the actual card.
Google Singapore’s country director, Joanna Flint said, “Singaporeans love mobile and are some of the fastest adopters of new technology in the world. It’s wonderful to see wide support in Singapore from the banks and the industry for Android Pay, enabling shoppers to use Android smartphones as a way to buy things when they’re on-the-go."
Deborah Heng, group head and general manager of MasterCard Singapore, added the central role smartphones play in the fast-paced digital lifestyles of the Singapore consumer has driven new forms of mobile payment technology, such as Android Pay.
Seconding her was Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei said Android Pay will bring the growth of contactless payments in Singapore to the next level as it uses Visa Token Service which replaces cardholder information with a unique digital identifier without exposing sensitive account information.
Consumers today are already adopting contactless payments in popular categories such as supermarkets and quick service restaurants (QSR).
"In supermarkets alone, we’re seeing more than two million transactions being made on Visa payWave each month. QSRs such as McDonald’s and ToastBox, which introduced contactless payments last year, have also seen accelerated growth,” she added.
Meanwhile the banking sector has also seen tremendous positive feedback with the rile of mobile wallets and in working with the younger demographic.
OCBC Bank’s head of group lifestyle financing, Desmond Tan said with all major digital wallets available to customers now, banks want to make the user experience so seamless that consumer will not miss their physical credit cards. Majority of the customers who use contactless payments spans across the new-to-workforce and emerging affluent segments, he added.
"They are the early adopters who are embracing the digital wallet. We have seen a high volume of unique daily visitors to our mobile payment-related webpage, which translates into a steady increase in the number of cards provisioned," Tan added.
Consumer Banking Group, DBS Bank’s head of cards and unsecured loans, Anthony Seow added that early data shows that card users are more inclined to use contactless payments with mobile devices. After adopting mobile contactless payments, its credit card users showed a 50% increase in contactless transactions, while debit card users triple their contactless transactions.
"We estimate that mobile contactless transactions will contribute to 80% of our contactless volume by 2020,” Seow said.
Head of retail banking and digital of Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, Dwaipayan Sadhu said, through access to greater ease and convenience, mobile wallet platforms are enabling the rise of new consumer lifestyles.