PayPal: Singapore online users buying and selling more online

April 4th, 2013 | by Alfred Siew
PayPal: Singapore online users buying and selling more online


Singapore online users are buying more goods and services from overseas, while online merchants here have ramped up their sales as well, as electronic commerce appears to have grown fast in the country in 2012.

With the strong Singapore dollar, shoppers here spent 14 per cent more at American online merchants in 2012 than a year ago, according to numbers released by PayPal today.

Interestingly, many here shop online at China’s Internet stores – they spent 15 per cent more in 2012, while Japan (35 per cent growth), Britain (32 per cent growth) and Australia (32 per cent growth) round up some of the “high growth” countries, the payment company said.

It did not disclose the actual amount of trade going online in Singapore, but it pointed out that growth in imports through its channels is higher than the 3.2 per cent growth in imports in Singapore announced by the government.

Globally, the company processed US$145 billion of payments in 2012, a 22 per cent spike from a year ago. Cross-border trade accounted for 25 per cent of PayPal’s total payment volume last year.

Besides being the avid shoppers that Singaporeans are known for, merchants here also sold their wares to the world over the Net. The most popular things sold by PayPal’s Singapore merchants? Travel, computers and accessories and electronics, apparently.

And where did most of Singapore online shops sell to? The fastest growing regions are China, where exports rose 68 per cent in 2012, followed by Hong Kong (55 per cent increase), Japan (22 per cent increase) and Australia (20 per cent increase), according to transactions on PayPal.

The growth, as the company points out, is higher than the 0.1 per cent that Singapore’s domestic non-oil exports grew at in 2012.

PayPal is keen to bolster its position as the main e-commerce partner for online transactions. In particular, it is pitching to small and medium enterprises to export through online channels using its payment methods.

In February, it had to stop personal payments – such as cash gifts or allowances – in Singapore due to “regulatory instructions”. However, commercial payments for goods and services are not affected.

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