Credit card statistics Singapore

73% of Singaporeans own at least 1 credit card and 10% have 6 or more.

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Young woman making purchase using a credit card

Nearly three-quarters of Singaporeans hold a credit card. They’re so popular that taking into account those who hold multiple cards, there are 1.62 credit cards per capita. Here’s a quick guide to key credit card statistics, including an overview of the increasingly competitive payments landscape in Singapore.

Quick credit card statistics for the Singapore market

Brief overview

  • 73% of Singaporeans own at least 1 credit card
  • 10% have 6 or more credit cards
  • There are 5.6 million credit cards in Singapore, but only 4.9 million residents over the age of 15
  • The total spend per quarter has dropped from $3,289 in 2019 to $1,902 today
  • 68% of e-commerce transactions take place via card

Source: Finder, YouGov

Singapore credit card statistics

Number of primary credit cards

Given the perks of holding a credit card – they’re convenient, help you build a credit score and can earn you points – it’s not surprising they’re so pervasive. However, they can cost you in the long term if you don’t pay attention to your interest rate or clear your balance in time. So are Singaporeans helped or hindered by credit card use? Let’s find out.

Do Singaporeans pay off their credit cards?

The majority of Singaporeans use their credit cards responsibly, according to data from YouGov, with 88% paying off their outstanding balances on time. The data also shows that 9% pay their balance amount partially and just 3% pay the minimum amount on time. Overall, credit card debt accounted for just over 4% of all consumer loans in 2016.

Attitude toward credit cards

The majority of Singaporeans (52%) think it makes financial sense to have a credit card, however, even more (57%) think credit cards promote excessive spending. People tend to use credit cards for purchases like travel tickets (81%), accommodation (76%) and food and beverages (75%).

So what credit cards are people holding? Reports have found Singaporeans are most likely to value rewards programs, cashback and other discounts and that well over half (64%) of credit card holders have used discounts or special privileges offered by issuers’ strategic partners.

In 2019, American Express ranked number one in J.D. Power’s Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study, out of eight issuers. DBS placed second, POSB came in third and Citibank and OCBC tied for fourth.

J.D. Power 2019 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study rankings:
1. American Express
2. DBS
3. POSB
4. Citibank & OCBC
6. UOB
7. Standard Chartered
8. HSBC

The future of credit cards in Singapore

  • Declining circulation

Despite steady growth in credit card transactions value, data from MarketResearch suggest credit card circulation has recently been declining year on year. In contrast to this, options like debit cards, online transfers and cash on delivery are expected to double relative to their current rate of growth.

  • Competition from alternative payment platforms

According to Market Data Forecast, initiatives like the NETS Unified POS system eliminate the need for multiple credit cards by integrating different payment mechanisms into the same platform. Additionally, the rise of alternative payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay has inevitably shaken up the competitive landscape that used to be dominated by credit cards. As banks and telco providers offer their own alternative payment platforms as well, the credit card market needs to be more flexible than ever in order to maintain its relevance in this digitized economy.

  • Evolution of the credit card market in Singapore

One of the ways in which Singapore’s credit card market has been adapting is through contactless payments solutions. Banks like DBS, UOB, OCBC and Citibank have been pushing out contactless payment features for quick, on-the-go payments.

Singapore has also turned towards more mature digital economies for inspiration on how to better incorporate and digitize credit cards in our lives. The Singapore Land Transport Authority, for example, has launched a pilot program with Mastercard to introduce contactless payments on public transport. This was inspired by the current systems in place in London and Sydney.

Bottom Line: Looking beyond credit card statistics

Current data points to credit cards being popular personal finance tools in Singapore. Consumers should look forward to the array of spending solutions they can enjoy with alternative payment platforms and digitized credit card solutions. If you’re looking for a credit card in Singapore, you can start by comparing your options here.

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