Electronic payment on an iPadSingapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the country needs to keep up with other cities in terms of technology for electronic payments, amidst the growing popularity of online shopping.

In China’s major cities, for instance, the popular modes of payment include mobile apps, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay. These electronic payment platforms are connected to bank accounts and require users to scan QR codes for making payments.

Cash and Credit

The popularity of e-payment facilities in Shanghai and other Chinese cities has led to a decreased use of cash and credit cards. Lee said that Singapore should follow suit by streamlining and integrating its own e-payment platforms.

Whilst there are such modes of payments in Singapore, different systems have made it confusing for the residents. As such, most people would still use cash or cheques to avoid inconvenience when paying for goods and services. According to a KPMG study, 60 per cent of Singaporeans used cash to pay for consumer goods in 2015, whilst it accounted for more than 80 per cent of payments at wet markets and hawker centres.

Online Retail

The underwhelming response to the recent Great Singapore Sale (GSS) may serve as a reason to update e-payment facilities due to an increasing preference to online shopping. For local businesses, this is a good opportunity to enhance online marketing in Singapore, as some participants during GSS acknowledged poor sales whether or not the event took place.

Lee said the country has begun to embrace e-payment technology with the launch of PayNow, although it remains to be seen if this will positively affect sales at physical stores.

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The increasing use of online retail in Singapore serves as a reason the country should update its e-payment facilities. Cash is king, yet knowing there are other ways to pay for retail transactions can be helpful, especially if you do not like carrying a hefty amount.

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