Payment methods in Singapore

Hello everyone,

Once you’re settled in Singapore, you will need to make some basic purchases, like groceries or pay bills. Hence, it is essential to know the payment methods available in your host country.

Which are the most common payment methods in Singapore? Why would you prefer some forms over others?

Does the amount of money or the type of paid services (groceries, bills, rent, etc.) determine the choice of payment methods?

Are there any apps at your disposal which make the payment process easier in Singapore?

Can certain foreign currencies be used to make payments?

Have your habits in terms of payment methods changed since moving to Singapore?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Which are the most common payment methods in Singapore?
>> Common payment methods are changing quite fast in Singapore, especially after NDR 2017 when Lee Hsien Loong promoted QR Payment with the story of Lim Swee Say went to China.

Besides cash, below are some common payment methods in Singapore:

- The traditional payment cards (VISA/ Master/ Amex credit/ debit cards) where customer is supposed to sign into the invoice.

- NETS (bank card): NETS is the domestic payment network of Singapore. Customer inserted his ATM card with NETS enabled into a small terminal at merchant's cashier; enter a PIN to make payment.

- Online payment via bank transfer or online payment card (entering VISA/ Master card info into a website); PayPal, etc.

- Contactless payment:
+ EZLink/ NETS Flash pay: Ezlink is a value card mainly used to pay for public transport (MRT/ bus); but some merchant also accept this as a payment method for good (for example KOI bubble milk tea outlets)/ NETS Flash pay works exactly in the same way as EZlink card, just the service provider is different.
+ VISA Paywave and Mastercard's Paypass: Introduced since 2013, and is very popular now. Customer using his VISA/ Master card with contactless-payment enabled, making payment by tapping into a card reader.
+ Mobile contactless payment, including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. The customer uses iOS/ Android devices with that feature enabled to make payment by tapping the device onto a reader.

- QR Payment: Introduced around 2017 and promoted by the government; aimed to be a "universal" payment method of Singapore. Providers include the banks (DBS PayLah!, OCBC PayAnyone, UOB Mighty, etc), PayNow, NETS QR, GrabPay, Fave, and many more.
There are two method of making payment:
+ Static QR: The merchant prints out a QR code and stick it in front of the counter. The customer uses the QR payment app to scan that QR. The customer then has to key in the payment amount to make payment.
+ Dynamic QR: The merchant generates a new QR code for each payment, with the payment amount. The customer just needs to scan the QR code to make payment.




Why would you prefer some forms over others?
>> Convenience & cashback.

Does the amount of money or the type of paid services (groceries, bills, rent, etc.) determine the choice of payment methods?
>> Yes. I prefer using credit card for the large amount payments.

Are there any apps at your disposal which make the payment process easier in Singapore?
>> Apple Pay/ Samsung pay is the best.

Can certain foreign currencies be used to make payments?
>> (Surprisingly) YES. You can use the Brunei dollar to make payment in Singapore. That is the only foreign currency which is allowed to use for domestic transaction in Singapore.
Reason: Currency Interchangeability Agreement (the Agreement) between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, established in 1967, set the exchange rate between SGD and BND to a fixed rate of 1:1
https://www.mas.gov.sg/currency/Currenc … -Singapore


Have your habits in terms of payment methods changed since moving to Singapore?
>> Yes, but mostly because of the technology improvement over the years.

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