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Singaporean consumers going cashless and green
Eco-friendly payment methods, sustainability causes gain more support post-pandemic
The Asset 8 Jun 2023

Since the pandemic, a significant shift in consumer behaviour has been observed in Singapore. Nearly nine in 10 consumers in the city-state now prefer cashless payment methods, including cards, mobile wallets, and mobile banking, that are eco-friendly, a new report finds.

More than half of Singaporeans (52%) said they will avoid making cash payments. At the same time, 61% are keen to see physical cards made from sustainable materials as they prefer a more eco-friendly option, according to the latest edition of the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study.

Nearly half of respondents (45%) are also willing to donate a part of their loyalty rewards points, accrued through the usage of their credit cards or other similar services, to sustainability causes.

In terms of environmental causes, consumers are most interested in organizations involved in addressing climate change (43%), sustainability (38%) and waste management (34%). As for societal causes, they are most likely to put their loyalty points towards efforts that support food for all (30%), disaster recovery (22%) and public health (20%).

More than half of Singaporeans (53%) also want to receive on-demand tips and education on sustainable consumption via apps from financial service providers and their banks. Also, 34% are willing to switch to brands that focus more on sustainability, as long as the price and quality remain the same.

“For many years now, ESG has been a key focus for corporations globally, but we are seeing more consumers in Singapore becoming more interested in sustainability,” says Adeline Kim, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei. “From supporting low-carbon urban mobility to helping banks develop their sustainability approach, payments networks have an opportunity to play a crucial role in facilitating the transition to net zero.”

The study highlights the increased importance consumers in Singapore place on sustainability, environmental values and societal causes, with 33% of respondents actively taking steps and 41% planning to take steps to expand their knowledge on responsible consumption.

Close to 40% said they are likely to spend most on groceries and personal care items in the next 12 months compared to other categories. Nearly seven in 10 respondents have started setting aside more household savings for essential goods as a result of the pandemic. Around 60% of Singaporeans are also saving money for the future and tracking their expenses closely every month.

The Visa study was based on a survey conducted in October 2022 by CLEAR with 1,000 Singaporeans aged 18-65 years of age. It is part of a regional research project conducted in Southeast Asia on 6,550 consumers across seven markets. 

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