Cashless payment in Singapore is taking
off. Many retailers now accept e-payments and even citizens frequent
person-to-person payments (P2P) using mobile apps. With most citizens on the
bandwagon, the government now wants to engage its tourists.
Changi Airport Group (CAG) and a Chinese multipurpose
mobile app giant announced a
three-year marketing partnership.
The multipurpose app provides social media
and payment services. The partnership aims to improve customer shopping
experience by providing convenience and exclusive deals for the Chinese app
users at Changi Airport’s retailers. All merchants at Changi Airport will offer the alternative payment by the end of 2018. Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to provide such a service.
Chatter About Cashless Payments
Contactless sale in Singapore is no new
fad. The quiet revolution began in 2001 when public transport fares were
mandatorily transacted using stored-value cards, or EZ-link cards. Thus, for
many, cashless payment has been normalised.
Seventeen years on, the Singapore government
believes its citizens are ready to make the transition to a cashless society. Indicators
which inspire confidence are the strong mobile readiness, and the popularity of
credit and debit card payment methods among Singaporeans.
Electronic payments are expected to lower
transaction costs, boost business competitiveness and raise consumption levels.
All-in-all, cashless payment solutions are the way forward for economic growth
in a time of technological disruption.
While there may be no question that Singaporeans
might be ready to skip the cash for a swipe and tap, how sure is the government
that tourists will follow suit? Globally, the transaction value of contactless
payment is projected to reach USD 2.23 trillion by 2025 (Source: Grand
View Research). China alone appears to be the forerunner in the
market. Supporting hardware and software are not scarce as tech companies are
developing unique payment solutions for the Chinese market. It appears that
everyone is gearing up for a cashless world.
China boasts the largest mobile payment
market in the world. This is made possible with the popularity of mobile apps
which make use of near-field communication technology.
More than a billion Chinese nationals own the
multipurpose app. Combined with the sizeable number of Chinese tourists arrivals
in Singapore, the payment solution offered by the multipurpose app is
attractive for both merchants and travellers. In a press release, CAG reports
that Chinese tourists accounted for a third of its sales in 2017. The marketing
partnership is set to improve sales revenue in the long run.
CAG is optimistic that the technology
offered by the multipurpose app will improve the overall retail and dining
experience. For starters, tourists will not inhibited by any language barrier
when making purchases.
Furthermore, the hassle of figuring out a
new currency and currency conversion will be obliterated through the use of the
app. To make the deal even sweeter, the app users will be able to enjoy
discounts when shopping at physical stores in the Airport as well as through
its online store iShopChangi.
CAG General Manager for Advertising,
Marketing ad Promotion, Mr. Edwin Lim, said he hopes the latest payment
solution will provide an unparalleled experience. He is confident that the
targeted messaging through the app will improve patronage at the 150 stores
across the four terminals. More can be expected of the partnership as CAG seeks
to customise services for the app’s users.
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