Grabpay has emerged as the most popular e-wallet in Singapore over the past two years, as e-payment systems catch on in the city-state.

It was followed by e-wallets DBS PayLah!, FavePay, EZ-Link app and Alipay.

A report by meta-search website iPrice Group, in collaboration with mobile data and analytics platform App Annie Intelligence, said the contactless payment rendered by Grab has been the most actively used e-wallet app by Singaporeans since the end of 2017.

The report released last week analysed over 30 e-wallet apps and tracked the developments of e-wallets using vital app metrics, such as the number of monthly active users and total downloads from late 2017 to the third quarter of this year.

An e-wallet or digital wallet is a type of electronic card that can be used for transactions made online through a computer or smartphone. It functions like a credit or debit card and needs to be linked to a person’s bank account to make payments.

The report said: “As a well-connected society, Singapore’s effort in driving the adoption of mobile e-payments across multiple platforms had pushed down the ratio of cash and cheque usage against digital payments. iPrice Group collaborated with App Annie Intelligence to track the city-state’s vision of building a cashless society via mobile e-payment applications.”

The study looked at digital wallets that let users make payments via QR code, card or bank transactions.

It excluded apps that were pre-installed or exclusively issued by a company for its customers to be used only at a specific merchant’s store, for a fair comparison between the e-payment apps.

This meant bank apps open only to customers with a specific bank account were left out of the study.

The report ranked GrabPay as the top e-wallet. It noted that Grab is a “super-app” that provides users with services such as ride-hailing, food delivery and other features, which can be paid using GrabPay.

GrabPay Singapore head Gary Wong said: “To date, about three quarters of Grab users in Singapore use GrabPay for various services, including making payment at over 10,000 merchants in-store and online.

“We continue to see more users adopting cashless payment on our platform month on month and are grateful for their support.”

Top five

As a well-connected society, Singapore’s effort in driving the adoption of mobile e-payments across multiple platforms had pushed down the ratio of cash and cheque usage against digital payments.

The second-most popular mobile wallet in Singapore was DBS PayLah!, an app by DBS Bank that is also open to those without an account with DBS or POSB banks.

This was followed by FavePay, which allows customers to scan a QR code at more than 600 partner eateries and get up to 30 per cent cashback.

The app has been downloaded more than four million times this year, with the number of monthly active users growing by three times in the past few years.

Fave Singapore managing director Ng Aik-Phong said: “We have witnessed growth in e-payment adoption by our growing base of loyal users and are well positioned to leverage this new wave of innovation and growth. And we are optimistic about the new digital economy and way of life.”

Besides these new payment methods, the fourth-most commonly used e-wallet was the EZLink app, the digital payment version of Singapore’s first large-scale payment system for public transport.

Rounding off the top five was Alipay, a Chinese third-party mobile and online payment platform.

iPrice said Alipay could be targeted at Chinese nationals living in Singapore, and enabling merchants to conduct business with consumers active on Alipay.

A report by JP Morgan this year showed that 14 per cent of e-payments in Singapore are now made using a digital wallet. It also predicted that the use of digital wallets would rise over the next two years, to make up 22.5 per cent of all sales by 2021.

Wong from GrabPay said: “The drive towards cashless payments is a key part of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. And Grab is committed to contribute to this vision as we ensure every Grab user enjoys a seamless e-payment experience.”