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M-commerce on the rise in Singapore: Visa

Nurdianah Md Nur | April 28, 2015
Retailers looking to leverage this trend need to ensure that their websites are mobile-optimised and their payment methods are secure.

Given the high smartphone and mobile banking penetration in Singapore, it is not surprising that Singaporeans are getting more comfortable shopping via their mobile devices.

According to Visa's latest consumer trend survey, nearly half of the consumers (47 percent) who made online purchases over the last six months did so using a mobile or tablet device. Based on this trend, Visa projects mobile commerce (m-commerce) to overtake shopping via PCs and laptops by 6 percent over the next year.

Air tickets, accommodation bookings, and cinema tickets were found to be the top three spending categories for m-commerce transactions. For hotel and ticket bookings, half (50 per cent) of all survey respondents only started making mobile transactions last year. Visa anticipates that use of mobile devices to make purchases will increase rapidly over the next year.

The survey also revealed that approximately one in three online transactions is regularly abandoned. The most common categories for abandonment were cinema tickets (16 percent), air tickets and accommodation (11 percent), and fashion items less than S$500 (11 percent). According to the respondents, a slow page loading speed and other technical issues that reduces the speed of transactions are usually their main reasons for abandoning an online transaction.

"It is important for merchants to develop a mobile-optimised website for consumers since the abandonment cart rate is highest on mobile devices (55 percent on mobile versus 45 percent on PCs/laptops)," said Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei.

Besides having an optimised website, retailers also need to address consumers' security concerns regarding mobile devices to enhance the m-commerce experience. To help retailers do so, Visa is offering a tokenisation service, which requires customers to complete a one-time payment authorisation form that could be used for subsequent purchases.

Tokenisation will also free retailers from being held responsible for safe-keeping of sensitive payment data as cardholder information is replaced with randomly generated numbers, or tokens, said Visa. It added that the rest of the transaction process is protected by the same high-standard of security for traditional card payments.


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