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Singapore

Guide

Southeast Asia’s most active and profitable mobile market

With a mobile penetration rate of nearly 90%, Singapore is one of the world’s most engaged and savvy countries for smartphone use. The city-state boasts the highest average annual revenue per user1 (ARPU) throughout all of Southeast Asia. Its nearly 5 million smartphone users spend more time playing video games every week than anywhere else in the Asia-Pacific. This has helped propel the global business hub to its position as the leading destination for esports in the region.

1 Newzoo, 2021. Global Games Market Data.

Language and Infrastructure

While Singapore’s four official languages are English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil, the most commonly spoken dialect among the country’s tech-savvy population is English, making it an ideal entry point for digital publishers to access the Southeast Asia market.

100% 

of the top 15 grossing mobile applications in Singapore are offered in English.

50%

of the customer support inquiries received by Codashop are in English, and 50% are in Chinese.

Market Overview

More than 89% of Singaporeans own smartphones, the highest rate among all countries within Southeast Asia. This, combined with the country’s extensive infrastructure network and high average spending per user, makes it a key market for investors. Plus, economic forecasts put the mobile business on an increasingly prosperous trajectory, with mobile commerce reaching $4 billion and outpacing overall e-commerce in 2021. Increased smartphone affordability and mobile data access has made mobile gaming a significant market sector, allowing games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Call of Duty: Mobile to surge in popularity.

Mobile gaming market size
in 2020

US$200 - 400M

How significant are third-party payments?
Less significant
Significant
Very significant

Tax Landscape

In January 2020, Singapore began levying a 7% GST on foreign suppliers of digital services. Publishers unfamiliar with Singapore tax policies may consider working with a registered third party to facilitate smoother processing. For example, Coda is registered to manage tax obligations on behalf of its partners, acting as the merchant of record (MOR).

Local Payment Methods

Singapore’s credit card penetration rate is 49%2 - among the highest in Southeast Asia - making credit cards a popular option for residents to purchase digital content.

Until recently, few alternatives to the credit card existed. While carrier billing has long been an option, two new alternatives have emerged in recent years: GrabPay, an e-wallet, and PayNow, a bank transfer offering. PayNow is well-suited to collecting payments for digital content, since purchases are funded from bank accounts and cannot be reversed - negating the risk of chargebacks. 

Singapore’s government is also key in driving the country’s electronic payments culture. The “Digital Economy” is one of three pillars of the government’s Smart Nation Initiative, which includes the continued innovation of e-payments technologies such as Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST), PayNow, and Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR).


E-wallets

GrabPay

PayPal

Carrier billing

M1

Starhub

Singtel

Online banking

PayNow

Cash
Vouchers
Buy Now Pay Later
QR Code Payments
Card Payments

Visa
Mastercard

2 Statista, 2021. Credit card penetration in the Asia-Pacific region in 2021, by country or region.

Payment Method Market Share

51.6%
Bank Transfers
33.1%
E-wallets
8.28%
Card Payments
7.01%
Carrier Billing

Bank transfers and e-wallets are the most preferred payment method for online purchases, accounting for nearly 85% of transactions. With a seamless purchase process and attractive incentives (cashbacks, discounts), these methods are especially popular with those aged 18-35.

Distribution of Volume by Price Point

9%
$0.01 to $0.25
3%
$0.26 to $0.99
11%
$1 to $1.99
27%
$2 to $4.99
27%
$5 to $9.99
22%
$10 to $19.99
28%
$20 or more

Singapore has the highest GDP per capita in the region, which helps to drive a tremendous volume of mobile revenue - the highest among Southeast Asian markets. 

With almost 50% of consumers spending between US$5 - US$19.99, and 28% spending upwards of US$20, content publishers have the flexibility to extend their pricing strategy without the risk of alienating price-conscious customers.

Featured Marketing Campaign

Grabpay 11.11 Campaign for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

In the first-ever payment channel campaign for Codashop Singapore, GrabPay and Moonton showed the epic potential of an integrated Codashop campaign during moments of high traffic. For November 11 (11.11), GrabPay distributed bonus diamonds, skins, and exclusive offers for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang across in-app and social media marketing channels - driving an overall transaction increase of 309% and a 325% increase in Total Purchase Value (TPV).

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