SINGAPORE (Nov 29): Credit cardholders in Singapore are increasing their usage of mobile payment services, compared to other key global markets, according to the JD Power 2017 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study.  

The study found that usage of mobile payments in Singapore has grown to 40% in 2017 as compared to only 26% in 2016, almost on par with Hong Kong, recording a usage of 41%.

This was despite many consumers citing that their concern for not using a mobile wallet is security.

Anthony Chiam, service industry practice lead at JD Power says, “However, in order for cardholders to fully embrace the adoption of these services, trust is paramount and security concerns must be first addressed.”

In addition, the study found that 42% of card holders do not use their primary card for mobile wallets due to the lack of rewards and loyalty points, while 40% stated their reason as low merchant acceptance at retail stores and restaurants.

Cardholders with a rewards programme spent 29% more than those who do not have such programme. But only 26% say that they completely understand how to earn and redeem through their rewards programme.

The rewards programme is a key factor for 37% of cardholders in deciding their primary card, while 50% would look into the card’s cashback feature and 33% would check to see promotions and discounts offered by the card.

Despite the rise in mobile payment usage, the study found that shoppers still prefer making their purchases with their credit cards in stores and restaurants, as well as when shopping online.

According to the study, American Express ranked the highest in credit card satisfaction among the credit cards offered in Singapore. Standard Charted ranked second, followed by DBS.

On Nov 20, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that local payment services providers will adopt and deploy a common Singapore Quick Response Code (SG QR) that can accept electronic payments by both domestic and international payment schemes, e-wallets, and banks by next year.

The Payments Council has endorsed the first-of-its-kind SG QR, which includes protocols customised for Singapore.

See: Singapore to roll out unified SG QR for electronic payments by 2018

Moreover, MAS on Nov 21 launched a second public consultation on its proposed payments regulatory framework, which seeks to streamline the regulation of payment services under a single legislation.

The Payment Services Bill will expand the scope of regulated payment activities to include virtual currency services and other innovations, as well as calibrate regulation according to the risks posed by these activities.

Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS says, “We want to put in place a forward-looking regulatory regime to encourage wider adoption of secure e-payment solutions.”

See: MAS seeks further public feedback on proposed payments regulatory framework