Tech-savvy Singaporean shoppers at the front of the queue globally when it comes to payments

SINGAPORE, 8th April 2024: Singaporean customers are ahead of the curve when it comes to payment trends with a preference for smart technologies and social media when compared with shoppers elsewhere.

That’s according to a report released by Adyen, the global financial technology platform of choice for leading businesses. The Adyen Retail Index surveyed more than 38,000 shoppers and over 13,000 merchants in 26 markets.

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.

Singaporeans are also more comfortable with social commerce. 51% of Singaporean consumers have used social media to make a purchase compared to 44% in other markets. 8 in 10 retailers in Singapore said the use of social commerce had increased revenue.

And more of us are going cashless altogether. Nearly a third of Singaporeans, 31%, say 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.

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.[1] 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 Warren Hayashi, President, Adyen Asia-Pacific. “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.”

Methodology

The Adyen Index: Retail Report explores global and local trends impacting businesses around the world. This report combines business and consumer data across 26 countries, coupled with economic commentary.

Business Insights

Censuswide polled 13,177 businesses in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK, and USA. 500 were polled in each market, and the sample size excluded sole traders with a focus on scaleups and enterprises. Research conducted: 15 January – 1 February 2024

Consumer insights

Censuswide polled 38,151 consumers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK, and USA. There are nationally representative sample sizes across countries. Research conducted: 15 January – 29 January 2024.

Economic Insights

The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) was commissioned to understand the impact of fraud lost across the world.

Financial figures represent survey-implied values for the annual losses caused by fraud. These figures are scaled based on the responses of different demographics to their experiences of fraud and official data on business populations and revenues, including Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data. Censuswide did not poll sole traders, and the Cebr-modeled data was for businesses with 20 or more employees. Modeling was conducted in February 2024. Data was compared to 2023 surveys where relevant, with Adyen conducting this survey annually.

About Adyen 

Adyen (AMS: ADYEN) is the financial technology platform of choice for leading companies. By providing end-to-end payments capabilities, data-driven insights, and financial products in a single global solution, Adyen helps businesses achieve their ambitions faster. With offices around the world, Adyen works with the likes of Meta, LVMH, SHEIN, Uber, L’Oréal, Cathay Pacific, Grab, Klook, and Singapore Airlines

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