Apr 10, 2013
Singapore, April 5th 2013 - Results from the Visa Payment Attitudes Study show that people lose an average of US$365 every year because of cash left forgotten in the house or car, or unused foreign currency from an overseas trip. This seemingly small amount, that averages a dollar a day, is actually the equivalent of the cost of 6.5 grams of gold.
Returning home from vacation with a pocket full of coins and foreign notes is also common. According to the study, people bring home on average US$285 in unused foreign currency. On average, Singaporeans bring back a whopping US$625 in their pockets. They could take a lesson or two from the Indonesians, South Koreans and Taiwanese, who are the savviest at managing their funds by bringing back only US$1 in unused currency. While most respondents will keep the remaining cash for future use, about one in five will give it away or just forget about the leftover cash.
Busy lifestyles mean consumers often lose track of the little things around them such as lose change. The Study found that people leave an average of US$80 lying around in cars, homes and offices at any one time. Among the surveyed markets, the Japanese have an astounding US$337 in loose change lying around unused while Indonesians are the most frugal leaving only US$21 lying around at any one time.
Keeping tabs on their hard-earned money and worrying about carrying cash around is a concern for people in the region too and consumers are turning to debit cards as an easy way to manage their money. The majority of respondents (54 percent) said the key reason they have a debit card is because it is convenient, rather than carry around a large amount of cash. They also have a debit card to keep their finances in check, with over half (53 percent) saying it is good for smart financial management as they know that the payment is debited directly from their regular bank account.
Visa Country Manager, Singapore and Brunei, Ooi Huey Tyng, said, “More people are realizing the benefits of Visa Debit Cards compared with cash, particularly for overseas travel. In Singapore, we experienced a 33% increase in year-on-year issuance of Visa Debit cards in 2012, showing that consumers here are relying on Visa Debit cards for a more convenient and secure way to pay. Singaporeans going abroad should call their banks to activate their Visa debit cards before they travel to avoid bringing back hundreds of dollars of foreign currency.”
The study results showed that, on average, consumers in the region own two debit cards, but it also revealed that awareness about using debit cards abroad is low, with only 42 percent being aware that they can be used around the world. However debit cards, and in particular Visa Debit cards, are widely accepted across the globe and can be used in-store, for shopping online and even - for that purchase that really needs cash - for withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs.
Ooi added, “To make the shopping experience even quicker and more convenient, more consumers are also choosing to use Visa payWave contactless payments at many major retail outlets across Singapore. Visa payWave allows you to pay by just waving your card so there won’t be any more problems with misplaced or forgotten cash and coins.”
To date, more than one million Visa payWave cards have been issued in Singapore and this is supported by a network of more than 11,000 Visa payWave acceptance points. Visa payWave is accepted at leading retailers including Sheng Siong, Watson’s, Cold Storage, Market Place, Giant, Shop N Save, Guardian Pharmacy, Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Burger King.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker