Visa’s payWave hits a million cards in Singapore, expects numbers to double by end of 2013

Joash Wee

Visa’s issues a million contact-less cards, expects numbers to double by year end as adoption grows. Previews mobile wallet application.

Visa announced yesterday that it’s Visa payWave contact-less technology has hit its one million cards issued milestone. Visa’s Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, Ooi Huey Tyng, mentioned in the press conference that this is the tipping point and Visa expects to see this number grow to two million by the end of 2013.

Sharing some statistics on contact-less payments in Singapore, Ooi mentioned that 48 percent of transactions in Singapore are still handled in cash. Visa payWave transaction volumes in Singapore have grown dramatically with an increase of 148 percent from 2011 to 2012. Transaction values on Visa payWave cards also grew with a year to year increase of 133 percent. The total number of Visa payWave cards in Singapore has increased by nearly 50 percent from December 2011 to December 2012.

Currently, one out of six contact-less cards issued in Singapore is a Visa card. Visa handles around three percent of contact-less face-to-face transactions in Singapore and is aiming to grow that to 10 percent by the end of the year. With over 11,000 acceptance points across the country and businesses beginning to see the benefits of speeding up transactions at points of sales, Visa will continue to drive contact-less payments across the country, including through promotions for cardholders. One of the promotions, in partnership with Starbucks, will be rolled out in Singapore soon and provides a dollar off each minimum purchase of S$5 when a Visa payWave card is used for payment.

Vodafone SmartPass and Visa payWave

Francois Hribovsek, Business Leader, Emerging products, Visa South East Asia demonstrating the Vodafone SmartPass and Visa payWave application to media in Singapore

Members of the media at the event was also treated to a first look at the Vodafone SmartPass application, launched in Australia together with Visa payWave. The application, which uses a smartphone’s near field communication (NFC) capabilities, allows users to perform transactions from a the mobile phone using preloaded credits in the app from any credit card. Users can easily top up their preloaded balance via the app. The service comes with a Vodafone SIM card that has the app preloaded on it. Visa hopes to see this technology being implemented in Singapore as early as the end of the year.

SmartPass payWave App

Image credits: Visa, Gizmag

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