This article was first published on 11 June 2018 and has been updated on 18 February 2020 and 26 September 2020 with new information.
“Cheque-free by 2025”.
This was one of the statements made in 2018 by then Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung when asked for his take towards the nation adopting more widespread use of e-payments.
Several platforms have opened up their cashless payment functionalities especially on mobile. This includes payment via connected bank accounts, linked credit or debit cards, mobile wallets or application payment services, all on your mobile device.
To help you navigate the cashless payments jungle, we compiled this guide to the different cashless payment methods in Singapore.
Broadly speaking, there are 4 types of cashless mobile payment solutions in Singapore:
#1 Mobile Payment via Connected Bank Account
The first method enables you to pay straight from your bank account. This is enabled by the digital registration of your bank cards to your mobile phone.
#2 Mobile Payment Via Linked Credit/Debit Card
Instead of digging out your credit card, your mobile phone now serves as your card. Simply download the respective apps and add the credit/ debit cards you wish to use. You’re now ready to use your phone to pay at even brick and mortar merchants!
#3 Mobile Payment via Mobile Wallet
Payment via mobile wallet is also possible with a connected bank account (or other digital payment methods) to top up the wallet before paying. This may be a better alternative for those who want to have greater control over their expenses, but some may view the additional step of topping up as a hassle.
For some, mobile wallets are a great gateway to ease the hassle of spending overseas, where you may have to manage multiple currencies or handle small, loose change. The mobile wallets considered here are primarily for local spending, with a large number of acceptance points locally.
#4 Mobile Payment via Application Payment Service
Applications have launched their own payment platforms to facilitate cashless payments and further entice their consumers with additional perks with partner merchants.
Cashless Platforms Are Here To Stay
The rise of mobile payments has proven that the cashless ecosystem in Singapore is slowly developing and evolving. Most of these cashless payment solutions offer attractive solutions while allowing you to ride on the cashback or rebate systems from your credit cards when you link them up.
The savvy consumer can continue to make the best out of their (virtual) dollar by capitalising on these rewards and loyalty programmes while enjoying the ease and seamless convenience that cashless payment platforms have to offer.
Read Also: Going Cashless: Who’s Left Behind?