The e-payment niche in Singapore is growing exponentially. In July, a fund transfer service known as PayNow, which is “bank agnostic” and supported by a group of banks in the island city-state, opened for business. Also, a payments technology firm known as Stripe, which is based in San Francisco, announced that Web businesses in Singapore will be able to take payments through WeChat Pay and Alipay, by utilizing the software that Stripe offers to customers. This new initiative by Stripe will allow Singapore e-businesses to grab more of the lucrative Chinese market.

These new e-payment options are good news for Singapore. The goal of Singapore’s progressive government is to “go cashless”. However, it’s still a bit early to meet that lofty goal! Right now, Singapore lags behind China in terms of its efforts to go cashless. In China, great strides have been made in this direction. For example, people may utilize their smart phones to pay for Chinese bread, known as Shao Bing, on the city streets.

At present, China has a population of over one point three billion people. The country spans nine and half million kilometers. In light of its population and grand size and scale, it’s way ahead of Singapore, which is so much smaller and less populated. It seems like Singapore should be leading, as changes which promote cashless business and retail activity should be easier to implement.

Basically, Singapore has most of the features needed for cashless transactions in place already, including a great tech infrastructure, small land size and a population of just over five and half million people.

However, China is ahead of the game because it already offers Alipay and WeChat to citizens. These hugely popular apps allow users to do a lot of things with their smart phones. For example, they may transfer money to others and scan bar codes when they want to buy items in stores. Since the online environment in China is controlled, the “Western world app” can’t be accessed and Chinese apps reign in the marketplace. When Chinese apps offer payment functions, cash seems quite obsolete!

E-commerce in China is really booming! People in the nation have more and more incentive to skip paying with cash and use apps in order to get what they want and need. As well, the vast youth population in China is one that didn’t grow up with newspapers and other old-fashioned ways of life. Youth in China are therefore quite comfortable using digital payment systems. So many people in China, from many different age groups, are buying all that they need via their smart phones.

Cash is Still Number One in Singapore

Singapore is a lot different. Cash is still used there by most people. Millennials in Singapore are a bit bewildered by the slow progress towards and eco-friendly and convenient, cash-free society. At this point, sixty percent of payments made in the island city-state are made with cash. Thirty percent are made via very old-fashioned checks! Hopefully, new initiatives will help Singapore to move into the future.