Singapore payments guide

A guide to payments in Singapore.

Welcome to Singapore

It is often said that shopping is a national pastime in Singapore and its shopping malls are the stuff of legend. The good news for ecommerce businesses is that this enthusiasm extends online as well.

Singapore is the most active ecommerce market in Southeast Asia. 40% of its population is made up of permanent foreign residents, and 23% of Singaporean citizens were born abroad.

With so many international ties, it comes as little surprise that 55% of ecommerce in Singapore is cross-border. So despite its small size (population 5.6 million) Singapore represents an attractive prospect for businesses looking to expand internationally.

It is a mature market with English as the main language and offers an extremely business-friendly environment. It is therefore a good point of entry into the rest of Southeast Asia.

Smartphone penetration is nearly 90% and tablets nearly 50%. They are avid online shoppers and ecommerce is booming. This burgeoning ecommerce market can be partly attributed to smartphone usage. 30% of online shoppers use their mobiles to make purchases at least once a week.

Key payment methods in Singapore

In Singapore, credit card is the undisputed king. Singaporeans tend to have multiple cards and the high card penetration drives much of the online shopping experience.

All the new ecommerce credit card payments that are processed through bank accounts in Singapore should be 3DS enabled, where shoppers will receive one-time-passwords on their phones which they need to authorize the transaction on their web browser or smartphones.


eNETS is a Singapore-based consortium that offers electronic payment services to merchants, institutions and consumers. Services include online credit card payment and debit card payment via internet banking for shoppers. eNETS is rarely used for ecommerce transactions for which it is not optimized, and it does not offer a mobile option.

Inside tips

For merchants, entering the Singapore market through international acquiring is a sound first step, due to its openness to cross-border payments.

The Singapore dollar (SGD) is accessible from outside Singapore for processing and settlement.

However shoppers will face additional charges from their issuing bank due to payments being made with a non-domiciled merchant.

Merchants can consider using Adyen’s domestic solution to get lower interchange.

Due to the maturity of the cards business in Singapore, the authorization rate will not be significantly improved compared to other markets but there might be a slight improvement.

What Adyen offers

Singapore is a great strategic center for businesses expanding their presence in Asia.

Adyen’s direct acquiring license in Singapore allows merchants to leverage our direct connection to Visa and Mastercard, taking full advantage of Adyen’s single payment platform.

This also gives businesses benefits like higher card authorization rates, richer data insights and greater business resilience via local processing.

With Adyen’s single payment platform, businesses can truly optimize payments across point of sale (POS), ecommerce, mobile and in-app.

While helping businesses meet their omnichannel objectives, seamless payments on these fronts help create great shopping experiences – enabling greater conversions and revenue.

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