Total GSS spending on MasterCard cards at US$1.4 billion;

Australia, United States, and Indonesia tourists emerge top foreign spenders

To tweet this news, copy and paste to your Twitter handle with the hashtag #MasterCard, #Contactless, #PayPass, #Shopping, #GSS

 Singapore, 10 August 2012 – The total number of transactions on MasterCard ( cards during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) 2012 exceeded a record 10 million – double the number reported five years ago – highlighting that there is a genuine shift towards electronic payments.

The GSS came to a close with a 7.0% increase in total spend by both Singapore and foreign MasterCard cardholders. The total spend over the two-month period of the GSS (25 May – 22 July 2012) reached about US$1.4 billion, compared to US$1.3 billion recorded in the same period last year (27 May – 24 July 2011).

Notably, the total number of transactions hit the 10 million mark for the first time, rising 17.0% to 10.7 million – an indication that consumers are embracing electronic payments and are spending more on their cards, even for smaller purchases which had traditionally been paid for in cash.

MasterCard’s continual efforts to extend the MasterCard® PayPassTM acceptance network in Singapore to pave the path towards a cashless society also showed positive results in GSS 2012, where the number of PayPass transactions grew 100-fold and total spend jumped by over 54.0%.

Spend by Singapore-based MasterCard cardholders saw a 7.4% increase to US$929.9 million, while the number of transactions increased by 16.7% to 8.3 million.

Lured by attractive GSS deals, visiting MasterCard cardholders spent US$480.4 million and made 2.4 million transactions during the Sale. The total spend and number of transactions went up by 6.1% and 16.9% respectively as compared to the same period last year. Cardholders from Australia, the US, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan emerged as the top five spenders for the GSS 2012. Of note, tourists from Australia and Japan recorded an average of more than 40.0% jump in total spend and number of transactions against last year’s figures.

Dato’ Dr Jannie Chan, President, Singapore Retailers Association, said, “The growth all round in the number of transactions as well as transaction volume by both Singapore as well as visiting MasterCard cardholders is a clear indication that GSS has not lost its appeal.  The Singapore Retailers Association, as organisers of the GSS, is very pleased that its partnership with MasterCard has borne fruit yet again, and performance such as this in largely uncertain times prove that MasterCard has once again done things right, and the industry is very grateful for such committed collaboration which is rewarding not just for the businesses but for the consumers as well.”

“The GSS represents a continual collaboration between MasterCard and industry leaders to present the best deals to consumers, and the strong performance amidst global uncertainty is an indication that consumers value the privileges and experiences that we are bringing to them during the Sale,” said Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide.

“The success of GSS 2012, coupled with the two-fold increase in transaction numbers over the last five years to reach 10 million is very encouraging to us.  Consumers are increasingly embracing the convenience and speed afforded by innovative electronic payment options, including MasterCard PayPass which provides cardholders with the opportunity to make quick and convenient contactless payments for everyday items below $100 with a simple Tap & Go.”

Top 5 markets in terms of tourist spending:

Market No. of transactions % change vs. corresponding period in 2011 Transaction Amount % change vs. corresponding period in 2011
Australia(3rd last year) 290,976 43.8% US$67.9 million  48.3%
United States of America(1st last year) 215,827 17.7% US$55.4 million  -14.0%
Indonesia(4th last year) 222,183 19.5% US$47.5 million  16.7%
Malaysia(2nd last year) 216,638 5.1% US$45.0 million  -12.8%
Japan(5th last year) 236,779 46.4% US$43.3 million  42.4%
  • Australian and Indonesia MasterCard cardholders spent most at Department Stores.
  • Eating Places and Restaurants was the most popular spend category among American and Japanese MasterCard cardholders during GSS2012, while Malaysian MasterCard cardholders were big on Computers and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software this year.

Top categories of spend by tourists from top 5 markets (excluding spend on accommodation and airfare):

Market (Top spend category) No. of transactions  Aggregate Transaction Amount 
Australia – Department Stores  32,683 US$3.3 million 
United States –  Eating Places and Restaurants 15,810 US$1.3 million 
Indonesia – Department Stores  23,265 US$4.0 million 
Malaysia – Computers, Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software 4,630 US$3.1 million 
Japan – Eating Places Restaurants 5,771 US$0.9 million 

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.



Wendy Toh, Weber Shandwick,, +65 6825 8038

Joey Phua, Weber Shandwick,, +65 6825 8010