VISA wishes to enable Singapore’s transformation into a cashless society

The brand VISA requires no introduction. For the past few decades, it has dominated the global payments industry along with Mastercard. As the saying goes however, change is the only constant. Fintech companies like WeChat Pay and Alipay have demonstrated that card options are obsolete in the face of the smartphone revolution. As any successful company that has withstood the test of time, Visa has also shown its willingness to keep up with external changes by adapting its products for its customers.

Earlier this year, Visa announced mVisa, a QR code payment service that focuses on merchants and their customers. The goal of mVisa is to make payment solutions as close to ‘flip-a-switch’ easy as possible through allowing customers and merchants to transact using QR code payment mode. Currently on trial in India, it is only a matter of time before mVisa reaches the shores of Singapore.

What Visa does have in Singapore currently is Visa payWave, which siplifies the transaction process down to a tap of a card, thus eradicating the need to enter a PIN number or signing a receipt. In August 2017, Visa payWave saw more than 8 million transactions conducted per month. Visa has also driven more contactless payments in areas such as fast-food joints and has worked with major food chain Food Republic to roll out Visa payWave. Visa Singapore’s country head Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, in explaining Visa’s approach in Singapore, said that ‘the consumer experience has to be seamless, it cannot be worse than contactless’. The key for merchants to join any cashless payments scheme is to make the on-boarding process as simple as possible.

Ms Ooi’s perspectives appear to be shared by MAS, which established a taskforce to look into ways to advance the development of cashless payments in Singapore. The taskforce named SG QR incorporates key players in the payments industry including major local banks DBS, UOB and OCBC, as well as service providers like FOMO Pay.

One of the major tasks of SG QR is to drive widespread merchant and consumer adoption of mobile payments in Singapore. With the emergence of Nets Pay, it seems like the solution has been found. As Nets already operates 30,000 acceptance points and has plans to expand the number to 100,000 next year, the infrastructure is sound. However, just as Ms Ooi has pointed out, enabling a seamless consumer experience is key to driving adoption.While Nets has arguably nailed the merchants adoption issue, a recurring problem for MAS and SGQR is convincing consumers to come on-board. With up to 60% of payments settled using cash and cheques, this deep-rooted consumption habits of Singaporeans serve as a barrier towards cashless payment modes. As Visa rolls out its mVisa solution in various countries, it remains to be seen if it can successfully do the same in Singapore so as to achieve its aims of enabling Singapore’s transformation into a cashless society.

About FOMO Pay

FOMO Pay provides one-stop QRCode Payment Solution which enables merchants to accept a full suite of new payment methods including WeChat Pay, NETSPay, mVISA, Grab Pay, Baidu Wallet, Best Pay, etc. Launched in 2016 with more than 1000 merchants acquired within a year, FOMO Pay is trusted by major companies including SPH, Marina Bay Sands, StarHub, JUMBO, Club 21, CHANEL, etc. With FOMO Pay, merchants can unlock true business potential by giving customers the payment options they prefer and adopt cashless payment easily. FOMO Pay is also sitting in MAS SGQR Taskforce to promote QR code payment and make Singapore a cashless society.