Singapore at the Head of the Queue for Shopping & Payment Trends Says New Report

Nearly a third of Singaporeans say they no longer carry a wallet. That compares to just over a quarter globally.

According to new research, Singaporean customers are “ahead of the curve” when it comes to payment trends with a preference for smart technologies and social media compared shoppers elsewhere.

The Adyen Retail Index surveyed more than 38,000 shoppers and over 13,000 merchants in 26 markets and found that Singaporean shoppers are more comfortable with technologies such as self-checkouts and QR codes than the global average. Almost half, 47%, were happy to use QR codes compared to 27% globally. More than half used tap-to-pay on mobile devices versus a quarter globally.

The report added that they are also more comfortable with social commerce with 51% of Singaporean consumers having used social media to make a purchase compared to 44% in other markets while 8 in 10 retailers in Singapore said using social commerce had increased revenue.


 

And more of them are going cashless altogether, according to the survey with nearly a third of Singaporeans, 31%, saying they don’t even carry a wallet. That compares to just over a quarter globally.

Among emerging technologies, Singaporeans reported being much more receptive to innovations such as smart mirrors, which enable customers to try and buy items virtually, and shopping on the metaverse or through VR.

Report highlights

Adyen released the following highlights from the report.

Endless aisle

One of the biggest retail themes continues to be unified commerce. Singaporean consumers want seamless offline and online retail experiences and personalized interaction with merchants. More than half, 58%, of consumers say they would be more loyal to a retailer that lets them buy things online and return in-store and 53% would be more loyal to a retailer that lets them shop in store and finish shopping online.


 

“Consumers want an ‘endless aisle’ experience where they can come to a physical store when they want to with the comfort of knowing they can get what they want even if it’s not in store,” said Warren Hayashi, President, Adyen Asia-Pacific.

With this in mind consumers are asking more of retailers. 69% of Singaporean shoppers say they want more personalized discounts at their favorite stores.

Some businesses are struggling to keep up. Only one in three merchants say they know more than half their customer base well enough to personalize items, discounts or services. Those that do know their customers reported significant increases in sales.

As tourism numbers bounce back businesses may be missing another trick. Only a quarter of businesses surveyed said they accept international payments methods from outside SIngapore such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Security a concern

The rapidly evolving payments environment is not without its challenges. Working alongside the UK’s Centre for Economic Business and Research (Cebr), Adyen found that the retail sector globally lost US$429 billion to fraud in 2023. On average, businesses globally lost US$2.98 million to fraudulent attacks, though luxury fashion retailers lost US$3.97 million and health and beauty brands US$3.94 million each.

The findings come as more than half of Singaporean businesses, 52%, report an uptick in fraud attempts over the last year, well above the global average of 41%.

Business response

As payments become increasingly digital and cashless, the Adyen Retail Index highlights the challenge for businesses in offering convenient and personalized customer experiences while managing fraud risk. According to the Singapore Police Force, the number of scam and cybercrime cases increased by 49.6% in 2023 alone.

Nearly two-thirds, 62%, of Singapore businesses surveyed say they are considering changing payments providers to one that can offer improved fraud defense mechanisms for their business. Businesses are looking to new technologies to help fight fraud. One in five Singapore businesses are now using network tokenization, which replaces sensitive payments information with a token, to support frictionless payments while enhancing security.

“This survey demonstrates that the payments landscape is evolving quickly globally, and in Southeast Asia,” said Hayashi.

“Businesses that can keep up with consumer expectations – for more personalized shopping experiences, seamless online or offline interactions or convenience in paying securely and easily with a preferred payment method – are reaping the rewards with top-line revenue growth.”

 

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