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9 in 10 Singaporeans believe cashless payment to be most eco-friendly: Visa

The study highlights the increased importance consumers in Singapore place on sustainability, environmental values and societal causes.

Consumer paying for a cup of coffee using eco-friendly cashless payment, to illustrate a story on a Visa survey on cashless payment in Singapore.
Most Singaporeans say cashless payment is eco-friendly, according to a Visa survey. (PHOTO: Getty) (Carlina Teteris via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Nearly nine in 10 Singapore consumers consider cashless payment methods such as cards, mobile wallets and mobile banking to be the most eco-friendly, according to a study conducted by payments network Visa.

The latest edition of the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study, conducted in October 2022 with 1,000 Singaporeans aged 18-65, revealed that a significant proportion of Singapore consumers are actively taking steps (33 per cent) or are planning to take steps (41 per cent) to expand their knowledge of responsible consumption, highlighting the increased importance consumers in Singapore place on sustainability, environmental values and societal causes.

The study also showed that 61 per cent of those surveyed are keen to see physical cards made from sustainable materials. Some 45 per cent of the consumers surveyed said they are willing to donate some 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, the study revealed that consumers are most interested in organisations involved in climate change (43 per cent), sustainability (38 per cent) and waste management (34 per cent).

As for societal causes, survey respondents are most likely to put their loyalty points towards efforts that support food for all (30 per cent), disaster recovery (22 per cent) and public health (20 per cent).

More than half of Singapore consumers in the study (53 per cent) are also keen on receiving on-demand tips and education on sustainable consumption through apps that they use provided by financial service providers and their banks, while more than a third (34 per cent) 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," said Adeline Kim, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei.

Evolving consumer habits post-pandemic

The Visa study also said that consumer habits are continuing to evolve post-COVID-19, with more than half of Singapore consumers in the survey (52 per cent) saying that they will avoid making cash payments.

Close to 40 per cent of respondents also highlighted that they are likely to spend most on groceries and personal care items in the next year compared to other categories, while nearly seven in 10 Singaporeans have started setting aside more household savings for essential goods as a result of the pandemic.

The study also noted that 60 per cent of the respondents are also saving money for the future and tracking their expenses closely every month.

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