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Going Cashless In Singapore: What Are Some Of The Cashless Payment Methods?

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by CashOctopus • September 20, 2019

Cashless payment methods have been the trend in recent times. Singapore is among the top nations worldwide who are going cashless. In fact, a few of the most important MRT stations here only accept cashless payments, so travellers who only have cash beware! 

We have recently seen a high demand for these types of payments because they’re extremely convenient for both customers and companies. E-payments are a popular choice too. Other than credit cards or debit cards that can be used as cashless payment methods, there are other options to consider from the list below.

1. QR Codes

QR stands for “quick response”. You scan these codes with your phone, and machines read them.

Various retailers and hawker centres allow customers to use QR codes to scan the merchandise they buy and to calculate the sum total of their expenses. Afterwards, the payment is processed and you won’t have to spend time waiting in queues at the cash desks. Even if you can pay with your credit card, scanning the QR codes while you’re shopping saves you a lot of time.

You can also use QR codes to pay your bills as many Singapore banks accept this system.

2. PayNow

PayNow allows you to use your phone for easier payments as well. All you need is to download the banking app and to introduce your phone number or the number of your ID card.

PayNow saves you time with money transfer, but you need to have an account with the banks that are using this system. Payments are processed fast and you’ll have a lot of flexibility with your transfers if you’re working with:

  • Citibank
  • HSBC
  • Maybank
  • OCBC
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • United Overseas Bank

3. DBS PayLah!

DBS bank has its own cashless system. PayLah! has more to offer than its suggestive name. This system allows you to get your cash back from a series of retailers that work with the bank. And, if you’re studying at the National University of Singapore, you can benefit from F&D discounts!

DBS allows you to use PayLah! to pay your expenses at two Singaporean cab companies: City Cab and Comfort Cabs. PayLah! is a popular cashless payment method in various hawker centres, because all you need is a QR code, your phone number or a link to the payment.

Once you connect your DBS account to PayLah!, you can transfer funds from your bank account to make sure your PayLah! account is never empty.

Another convenient advantage is that PayLah! users can send money to each other.

4. Contactless Mobile Payments

Almost all of Singapore’s payment stations allow forms of cashless payment methods, which has increased their popularity.

Again, all you need to have is your phone. After you download the app, you’ll need to introduce your card details. Once you make a purchase, dangle your phone over the correct terminal to pay.

Although this cashless system doesn’t sound very safe, it’s extremely secure, not to mention convenient for customers. However, you’ll need to have an appropriate card, such as PayPass from MasterCard or PayWave from Visa.

5. Mobile Apps

Most of the above cashless payment methods use mobile apps. That said, major phone companies have their own apps for speedy transactions. Android, Apple, and Samsung Pay are all reliable, secure, and intuitive. After you’ve downloaded your favourite app, connect your credit card to it and your payment is just a tap away.

6. Pay Anyone

Another app with a suggestive name, Pay Anyone is the brainchild of OCBC Bank. Unfortunately, you can’t pay for everything with Pay Anyone. It is limited to some taxi rides, food and drinks, and your purchases at some shopping centres. You will need a phone for the job, and you will have to scan your product’s QR codes for the job.

Pay Anyone enables convenient cash transfers to people who are registered with PayNow. All you need is your friend’s phone number, e-mail or Facebook ID. And, of course, you need to have a bank account at the OCBC.

7. AliPay

AliPay is a cashless payment system devised in China. As such, you need to have a credit card or an account at a Chinese bank before you use this system.

The 3+ million tourists who reach the island yearly are AliPay’s audience. With so many tourists in need of convenient payment methods for all their expenses, AliPay makes things easier for them. In fact, ComfortDelGro has partnered with the Chinese company, so now you can use this method in over 17,000 taxis.

8. NETS FlashPay

Do you remember NETS CashCard? Not many Singaporeans do. Although this system was one of the island’s forerunners in terms of cashless payment methods, it remained largely unknown. NETS CashCard was used at various car parks and ERPS, so it had a very well-defined niche.

Its successor, NETS FlashPay is a more popular payment system. This is especially so because it allows you to use it at several retailers. This app has a decade of tradition in Singapore, meaning it’s a reliable, safe, and fast way of going cashless.

9. EZ-Link Card

Something that we always carry in our wallets. But often under utilized. Courtesy of the Land Transport Authority, EZ-Link cards can be used for more than public transport.

Several taxi services and private buses in Singapore accept EZ-link cards. You can also use it to buy food and drinks at hawker centres, cafes, and even posh restaurants around the island.

Apart from that, your EZ-link card is useful at the following places:

  • Singapore’s community clubs
  • Libraries
  • Shopping and retail outlets like 7-Eleven
  • EPS car parks
  • Gyms
  • Cineplexes
  • Several government services
  • Some medical centres

Although it might not be the most popular choice for all these outlets, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have your EZ-link card in your wallet instead of a handful of cash.


All the cashless payment methods outlined here have a specific niche. Some are more popular for retail outlets, some are convenient for fast transfers. While others are popular among people who have open accounts at specific banks.

The tendency, however, is to supply people with universal cashless payment methods, which they can use for all their expenses. The current society is shifting to a cashless system, so it’s good to get on board and reap all the benefits of speed, safety, and handiness.