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Here are the top players in S'pore's mobile payments industry


November 30, 2021 ( Newswire) Despite ranking only at number 9 in the top 10 of the most populated countries in Southeast Asia, Singapore is already one of the biggest e-commerce markets in the region.

With the rise in popularity of online shopping during the past year and a half, it's expected that the number of online customers will keep increasing in the years to come.

Due to this, there has also been an increase in the number of mobile payments providers, which play an important role in the usability of e-commerce platforms and the overall customer experience. Although credit cards are still the preferred payment method, according to a study from Rapyd, 42% of the responders give preference to e-wallets.

Person In Black And White Nike Hoodie Holding Black iPhone 4 (License), by NAIPO

How do mobile payments and e-wallets work?

Some people might believe that mobile payments and e-wallets operate the same way, but in reality, there are different technologies at play for both options.

Mobile payments, as the name indicates, are transactions completed by using the mobile phone. These types of payments required specific technology such as a modern POS system that is equipped to accept payments from services such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

While it might sound similar, an e-wallet doesn't operate in the same way as mobile payments. Often called digital wallets, e-wallets can be operated through apps or online services that allow the user to send and receive money without the need for a physical wallet.

E-wallets can be used in physical establishments, but are more often the chosen payment method for online transactions. One of the main advantages of e-wallets is that users don't need to fill in their credit or debit card information, as the technology used allows users the option to transfer their data securely and accurately. Moreover, the security systems in place for e-wallets tend to be stronger than those operating with regular payment methods, such as credit cards. This happens because e-wallets generally don't share any of the payment card details to the website, as a unique transaction token or identifier is shared instead.

The benefits of e-wallets for e-commerce merchants and users

Although the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on the way people shop and make payments, mobile payments and e-wallets were already having a steady increase of users through the years before 2020.

Digital payments have been around since 1997, when Coca-Cola launched vending machines in Helsinki, Finland, that allowed customers to pay via text message. Since then, technology has kept improving, and the same trend could be seen in the efficiency, security, and usability of e-wallets.

The advantages of these payment methods are numerous, for both customers and merchants alike:

  • Decrease the length of the checkout process, thus increasing the conversion rate
  • Allows customers to have more flexibility, as it doesn't require them to have a card on hand
  • Increase the security of transactions, especially when it comes to data transfer in online transactions
  • Improve the customer experience, regardless of the device used when shopping online
  • Increase the engagement of customers, through numerous rewards and bonuses

It's due to these advantages that many people across the world are adhering to e-wallets and mobile payments, with expected growth in the number of users in Singapore and other SEA nations of 311% between 2020 and 2025.

The rise in the number of customers using mobile payments

As stated above, it's expected to see an increase in the number of e-wallet users in SEA in the upcoming years, and the same trend is expected worldwide. According to, between 2020 and 2025 the worldwide market of mobile payments and e-wallets transactions is expected to increase from 5,109,807.75 to 9,419,619.76 million USD.

It's possibly because of this trend that the number of merchants accepting a wider range of e-wallets and mobile payments is increasing. Likewise, the number of mobile-targeted shopping and entertainment experiences keeps rising, taking advantage of the increased number of users and facilities of payment. As an example, mobile slot phone games that accept payment through e-wallets is one of the sectors with an increased variety of offers, with VegasSlotsOnline counting with more than 10,000 options of free slots games and numerous more that are integrated with mobile payment technologies like Neteller, Skrill, bank transfers, and prepaid products.

The industry leaders in Singapore

The e-wallet market in Singapore can be divided into two parts: the mobile wallets owned by banks, and the non-bank wallets. Each option comes with its own set of advantages that might cater to the needs and expectations of one user versus another.

The most popular bank-owned e-wallets include:

  • DBS PayLah
  • OCBC Pay Anyone
  • UOB Mighty

While the two first only accept payments in SGD, UOB Mighty has a more comprehensive acceptance of different currencies.

When it comes to non-bank e-wallets, there is an increase in the number of possibilities:

  • AliPay
  • FavePay
  • Google Pay
  • GrabPay
  • Huawei Pay
  • NETSPay
  • SingTel Dash
  • WeChat Pay
  • YouTrip
  • Revolut

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