2021 UnionPay Study Shows More Consumers are Adopting Mobile Payments Compared to 2018


SINGAPORE, Aug. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — According to UnionPay’s Cashless Payment Adoption Study conducted from January to February 2021, almost three in four (74%) local residents surveyed used mobile wallet to make QR Code payment at least once in the past six months. This was a 7% increase from UnionPay’s last survey on cashless payment in September 2018, whereby 67% said they used their mobile wallet to make QR Code payments.

Top 5 Most Often Used Payment Methods (%)
in the Past 6 Months

The UnionPay online survey on Cashless Payment Adoption was conducted by Nielsen, with over 1,200 Singapore residents aged 18 to 55 from January to February 2021. Those surveyed cited convenience, rewards, cashback, and discounts as the main reasons for using mobile wallets.

In the absence of card, categories where mobile wallets are ranked in the top 5 preferred payment methods include F&B, supermarkets, entertainment outlets, convenience stores and departmental stores. The survey results also showed that DBS PayLah!, Google Pay and GrabPay are the top three mobile wallet apps with the highest consumer awareness, and most often used. 

“With the government’s push to encourage QR Code payment at everyday usage scenarios like hawker centres, we had expected a bigger increase in mobile wallet adoption compared to 2018. However, with locals getting used to scanning QR Code everywhere they visit, coupled with more choices for QR Code payment applications and wider merchant acceptance, we believe that more consumers will embrace mobile wallets for payment,” said Huiming Cai, General Manager, UnionPay International South East Asia. 

Credit card remained the most often used (47%) payment instrument among those surveyed, with Debit card (18%) and mobile wallet (13%) a distant second and third.

Non-Mobile Wallet Users: Security Remains The Top Concern

Among non-users of mobile wallets who are also not open/interested to use mobile wallets in the future, 61% cited security and concerns of safeguarding personal information by merchants, mobile phones manufacturer and mobile wallet apps as the key factors discouraging them from using this payment mode.

For mobile wallet users, the top five challenges mentioned are the hassle of topping up wallet (39%), merchants’ non-acceptance (38%), phone could not read QR Code (30%), slow internet connection interrupting the transactions (26%) and security concerns (23%).

UnionPay’s Role in Promoting Secure Mobile Payment and
Building a More Inclusive Cashless Society

Huiming Cai said “It is crucial to take collective steps to address consumers’ concerns about mobile wallets payment security as we continue to accelerate Singapore’s journey towards a cashless society. UnionPay works closely with mobile wallet providers to ensure that consumers’ QR Code payment transactions are safe and secured. In addition, UnionPay’s QR Code uses the EMV specification which is in line with global payment security standards. As a leader in enabling QR Code for payment globally, UnionPay QR Code acceptance has expanded to over 30 million merchants around the world. With the current safe distancing measures in place, I believe more consumers and merchants will adopt contactless payment. Our continuous push to encourage usage of QR Code payment will play an important role in promoting a more hygienic and inclusive cashless environment as QR Code payment can be adopted quickly and easily.”

In Singapore, UnionPay QR Code payment is enabled at hawker centres and popular merchants such as Dian Xiao Er, Heytea, i.Jooz vending machines, Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, Old Chang Kee and more. Consumers can use the AP-1 app (membership fees apply), Bank of China app, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China app and Nestia app to make UnionPay QR Code payment.

About UnionPay Payments Adoption Study

The UnionPay Payments Adoption Study was conducted by Nielson from January to February 2021 with 1,202 local residents including Singapore citizens, permanent residents, E/S Pass holders with representation from the age group of 18 – 24 years old (9%), 25 – 34 years old (26%), 35 – 44 years old (33%) and 45 – 55 years old (32%) with 45% male and 55% female.

About UnionPay International

UnionPay International (UPI) focuses on the international business of UnionPay. In partnership with more than 2400 institutions worldwide, UPI has enabled card acceptance in 180 countries and regions with issuance in 70 countries and regions. UPI provides high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services to the world’s largest Cardholder base and ensures convenient local services to a growing number of global UnionPay Cardholders and merchants.

In Southeast Asia, UPI has enabled ATM, POS acceptance and card issuance across all 10 countries. In Singapore, UPI partners Bank of China (BOC), DBS Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) to provide a wide array of payment products and services. Local residents can download the AP-1 app (membership fees apply), BOC app, ICBC app and Nestia app to make UnionPay QR Code payment.

For more information, visit www.unionpayintl.com/sg/info


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