Mobile commerce projected to surpass traditional online shopping in Singapore: Visa study


Online and mobile shopping research by Visa shows Singaporeans quickly adopting mobile commerce

Singapore - Singaporeans are embracing shopping via their mobile phones and tablets, with the number of shoppers using mobile devices to purchase goods and services approaching the level of traditional online shopping via PCs or laptops.

According to the latest consumer trend survey1 by Visa (`Visa Survey’), 47 per cent of consumers who made online purchases over the last 6 months used a mobile or tablet device. Moreover, shopping via mobile or tablet devices is projected to overtake PCs and laptops by 6 per cent over the next year (53 per cent vs. 47 per cent, respectively).

“With high smart phone and mobile banking penetration in Singapore, there is tremendous growth opportunity in the online segment, especially in eCommerce and mobile commerce. Based on VisaNet data, we have seen eCommerce growth doubling that of face-to-face transactions in Singapore. The survey findings show that Singaporean consumers are increasingly comfortable making purchases and payments via their mobile devices, and we expect this trend to continue. With the rates of shopping via mobile devices accounting for almost half of all online purchases, making secure purchases on the go will continue to rise,” said Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei.

The Visa Survey also looked at the most popular spending categories for mobile commerce transactions which are air tickets (69 per cent on mobile phone, 65 per cent on tablet), accommodation bookings (62 per cent on mobile phone, 56 per cent on tablet) and cinema tickets (42 per cent on mobile phone, 45 per cent on tablet).

In terms of preferred mobile devices, making mobile purchases on tablets was higher than mobile phones (24 per cent versus 23 per cent respectively). In addition, purchases and payments via tablets and mobile phones are projected to grow to 29 per cent and 24 per cent respectively of total online purchases in the coming year.

The Visa Survey also showed that the 1 in 4 of the respondents only started using their mobile phones/tablets to make purchases in the past year for a number of spending categories. For hotel and ticket bookings, half (50 per cent) of all survey respondents only started making mobile transactions last year. Based on this trend, it is anticipated that use of these devices to make purchases will increase rapidly over the next year.

The Visa Survey also provides insights as to why mobile purchase transactions are cancelled. According to the survey, approximately 1 in 3 online transactions are regularly abandoned. The most common categories for abandonment cited were cinema tickets (16 per cent) followed by air tickets and accommodation (11 per cent) and fashion items less than $500 (11 per cent). Respondents shared that purchase abandonment is often due to slow page loading speed and other technical issues that slow down the pace of transactions. Based on the findings, purchase abandonment is more likely on mobile than other platforms (55 per cent on mobile devices vs. 45 per cent on PCs/laptops).

“Singapore consumers are at the forefront of online commerce. Based on the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 20142, Singaporeans are the top online shoppers in Southeast Asia. With mobile phones and tablets set to surpass PCs and laptops as preferred devices, it is important for merchants to consider all aspects of the online purchasing experience. The abandonment cart rate is highest on mobile devices. Hence, to enhance the customer’s shopping experience, it is important for merchants to develop a mobile-optimised website for consumers,” added Ooi Huey Tyng.

Retailers globally are recognizing consumer demands for greater security when making mobile purchases, and are partnering with Visa to offer tokenization services to enhance the mobile shopping payment experience. With tokenization, instead of having to fill in a lengthy payment authorization form each time before a purchase, consumers simply complete a one-time registration which can be used for subsequent purchases. Retailers are no longer responsible for safe-keeping sensitive payment data as cardholder information is replaced with randomly generated numbers, or tokens. The rest of the transaction process is protected by the same high-standard of security that Visa adopts for traditional card payments.


1 Visa mCommerce vs eCommerce usage survey was conducted by Acorn Marketing & Research on behalf of Visa. 300 respondents aged 21 to 49 from Singapore participated in the online survey conducted in December 2014 to understand online shopping behavior.
2 The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2014 was conducted in July 2014 by BlackBox Research on behalf of Visa. Demographics of the respondents were male and female credit card holders above the ages of 18 year olds and holders of at least one general purpose card (credit card). There were 500 respondents in each of the four markets and interviews were conducted online with representative quotas of gender and age. The study surveyed 2000 consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand.


About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.