Singapore Payment Market Overview

The technologically savvy and trade-oriented market economy of Singapore sports many positive characteristics in a struggling world economy such as the present. Some notable characteristics include being ranked as the most open economy in the world, the least corrupt, most pro-business, low tax rates, and the third highest per-capita GDP in the world (Purchasing Power Parity Index).

Singapore Market

Much like many other successful economies, Singapore’s preferred and most widely accepted payment method is cash. While cash is still king, there are many other modern payment options available all throughout Singapore including e-wallets, Banking, Credit Cards, and Prepaid Cards. We’ll take a moment to look at the different payment methods you can use within Singapore to make online transactions whether it be for the newest game released or simply for a bank transfer.

Cashless Payments/Banking

Not including credit cards, there are several different cashless payment methods available in Singapore with most being part of the NETS system.

  • The NETS Cash Card is a smart card for retail stores, pay phones, vending machines, car parks, and road tolls. It can be topped up with a maximum of SGD 500, and can be purchased at the NETS service center, Seven-Eleven stores, and other venues.
  • The NETS FlashPay card can be used on public transportation and at selected places including convenience stores and gas stations.
  • The NETS Card is issued by several local banks when you open an account. It serves as an island-wide debit card and payment method at retailers, restaurants, entertainment venues, and taxi services.
  • Some banks combine several of these options, so for example, you can get a joint Flash Pay and NETS Card. Moreover, there are dozens of so-called iNETS kiosks across Singapore: you can register as a user to pay bills, buy entertainment tickets, top up NETS cards, and more.


Credit cards

All major credit cards are offered in Singapore including Mastercard, Visa, and AmEx in some places. The issuance of credit cards is subject to MAS guidelines and regulations. These credit cards can be used much like in any other place for online and offline transactions alike. Credit Cards are usually reserved and preferred for larger purchases such as paying a bill from the hospital.

Prepaid Card

Otherwise known as “stored value cards,” there are two different types with one as a single purpose stored value card (SPSVC) and the other as the multipurpose stored value card (MPSVC). The single purpose stored value card can only be used to pay for items of interest offered by the issuer (Prepaid cards). SingTel Prepaid is a popular service offered in Singapore which lets the user top up their hi! SIM Card via online. MCash can be used as well from SingTel and can be charged at any local 7-Eleven store very conveniently. As for the multipurpose stored value card, these allow the cardholer to pay for goods and services offered by other merchants and companies. An example of a MPSVC is the CashCard which is jointly issued by three local banks within Singapore including, DBS, UOB, and OCBC.

Coverage of Singapore by Singtel

Coverage of Singapore by Singtel


E-wallets are an important part of payments from within Singapore and the most notable ones include Paypal Singapore and Cherry Credits. While most of you may be familiar with the Paypal system, Cherry Credits is quite unique. Cherry Credits is an online game operator and payment service provider for games as a subsidiary of Shanda Games International. It is a micropayment service targeting younger adults and teenagers who have no access to credit cards. What makes Cherry Credits so unique is that in 2011, it partnered with Shanda Games International to start releasing big name games such as Dragon Nest and SD Gundam Online and eventually in 2013, Cherry Credits evolved into an official game publisher while also providing it’s payment services.

SD Gundam Online, a popular PVP game offered by Cherry Credits

SD Gundam Online, a popular PVP game offered by Cherry Credits

A Final Look

Now that we’ve covered most, if not all the payment services offered within Singapore, it is time to look at which ones apply to who specifically. For all the young gamers out there and those that have no access to credit cards, the popular e-wallet method of paying with Cherry Credits is the way to go. If you do have access to credit cards, prepaid cards and banks, these methods of payments make life much simpler and convenient; especially with the release of products such as the Visa payWave. Finally, it is important to note that cash is still king for any small to medium purchases made in-person in any boutique or retail store so if you are looking to go for a quick trip to Singapore anytime soon, remember to open a local bank account in order to take full advantage of their ATM systems available throughout.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: