5 reasons why Singapore is ready for a payments revolution

Our appearance at Innovfest Unbound this week has led plenty of people to ask about the state of the payments market in Singapore. It is my belief that, given it is the leading light in the ASEAN region for technology and finance, Singapore is ready for a payments revolution and that it should take the lead in this fast growing region.

The question is why and how? Mobile payments is a noisy space and Singapore has plenty of other technological innovations appearing.

Mobile payments are the future of retail transactions, and Yoyo Wallet is the future of mobile payments. It is the mobile wallet that works; the proof is in the rapid adoption and uptake across closed environments such as university campuses and corporate catering. It is with this tool that Singapore should drive its revolution.

There are plenty of reasons why, but below you will find my top five. Not only is Singapore ready to adopt mobile technology, the infrastructure, support and retail demand is already in place.

1. The Singapore government takes innovation very seriously: last November it gave the nation a decade to evolve into a “Smart Nation”, in view of dramatically improving healthcare, transportation and the overall retail experience, to name just a few applications. Specifically Singapore wants to build a secure “data marketplace”, one in which companies can conduct tests and extract insights on consumer trends.

2. Singapore has some of the best and largest universities in the region, including NUS, NTU, MUS, where cash is still the dominant method of payment on campus and where early adoption of mobile payment can lead the way, as Yoyo Wallet has found in the UK.

3. Equally, Singapore is host to thousands of quick service retail chains that want to know their customers, speed up the checkout process, eliminate cash and drive more sales.

4. There is 100% mobile coverage, mobile adoption and 98% banking penetration in Singapore (World Bank, 2011). In fact Singapore was at the top of the Global Mobile Payments readiness Index (MasterCard) whereby consumers are already frequent users of m-commerce.

5. In its drive to attract enterprising talents to build Smart Nation, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) provides the support needed by foreign corporates but also technology startups.

I believe that Singapore is ready to drive mobile payment adoption at scale and therefore be a role model for the rest of the region (and in fact the world). And, just like in the UK where universities have been the successful pioneers of mobile payment with Yoyo Wallet, it is perhaps the university sector that will lead the way here.

Tweet us if you see any other ways in which Singapore is ready for a payment revolution.