Higher adoption of QR payments ramps up Singapore’s cashless transition

In January, 1.2 million transactions were carried out via the SGQR.

Increasing preference of Singaporean consumers for QR code payments will support the country’s transition to a cashless society, according to a report by data and analytics firm GlobalData.

The number of point-of-sale (POS) terminals in Singapore is set to increase to 316,695 by 2024 from about 254,469 in 2021, according to an analysis by GlobalData’s Payment Cards Analytics.

“Singapore merchants are increasingly turning to digital payments amidst COVID-19. The outbreak has accelerated the adoption of digital payments among smaller merchants as well, thereby supporting the Singapore government’s vision to become a ‘less-cash’ society,” said Nikhil Reddy, banking and payments analyst at GlobalData.

Singapore currently has 44 POS terminals per 1,000 individuals in 2021, ­­­amongst the highest in Asia-Pacific. In January, 1.2 million transactions were carried out via the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR), an increase of four times since its launch in June 2020.

Reddy noted how government support is playing a key part in driving the acceptance of electronic payments amongst merchants. Singapore recently raised the subsidy of the Productivity Solution Grant—which provides local businesses with a subsidy for POS installation—from 70% to 80% between April 2020 and March 2022. It is aimed at promoting cashless payment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, to encourage hawkers to adopt SGQR, Singapore has also rolled out the "Hawkers Go Digital Programme" launched to promote SGQR adoption among hawkers. As a part of this, the government is bearing transaction fees on SGQR payments until 31 December 2023. 

Photo courtesy of David Dvoracek

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