Spend and transaction volume on MasterCard cards at a 5-year high since 2011 for GSS

TWEET: 5-year high of S$2.1 billion in spend@ #GreatSingaporeSale #MasterCard http://news.mstr.cd/1QjuWnD

Singapore, 7 September 2015 – Despite increasing competition globally for retail spending whether by travel or through e-commerce, spend and transaction volumes on MasterCard cards continued to grow for the Great Singapore Sale this year. Spend on MasterCard cards alone during the GSS 2015 (30 May to 26 July 2015) amounted to S$2.12 billion, a 2.2 per cent increase from last year. During the eight-week GSS period, Singapore merchants saw over 14.5 million transactions made by local and overseas-issued MasterCard cards, a 7.3 per cent growth from 2014.

Compared to 2011, local and visiting cardholder spend grew by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 per cent and usage of MasterCard cards grew at a CAGR of 12 per cent in 2015 compared to five years ago at Singapore’s annual mid-year shopping extravaganza. Overall GSS figures were boosted by tourists, with double digit increases recorded in both spend amount and transaction volume. Compared to last year, visiting MasterCard cardholders spent 15.3 per cent more and used their cards 21.8 per cent more.

MasterCard data revealed that the GSS continues to appeal strongly to its key tourist markets, with the same five countries topping the 2015 list as last year. In order of ranking, Australia, Malaysia and China have retained their top spots while Indonesia has overtaken Japan this year for fourth placing, leaving Japan in fifth place.

Local cardholders contributed to the bulk of the GSS spend, making up two-thirds of spend volume, with spend dipping slightly from S$1.46 billion to S$1.41 billion. This year also saw more MasterCard card payments from local cardholders, growing by 2.6 per cent from the year before to 10.5 million transactions.

Deborah Heng, group head and general manager, Singapore, MasterCard, said, “The attractiveness of offers at the GSS and Singapore’s appeal as a tourist destination are holding strong as evidenced by the growth in both spend and transactions made on MasterCard cards this year. What’s interesting is that this year we are seeing dining places emerge consistently as a top spend category for visitors – an indication that fine dining may be growing in appeal for travellers to Singapore.  Visitors are also increasingly recognising the benefit of electronic payments, as seen by the growth in the number of transactions made on MasterCard cards from 2011 to 2015. ”

Dato’ Dr Jannie Chan, President, Singapore Retailers Association, said: “With the successful conclusion of the Great Singapore Sale, the 8 weeks of shopping extravaganza is clearly still a huge draw for locals and tourists alike. The GSS fuses shopping, dining, special events and entertainment and has now been associated among retailers and visitors from the region as one of the most awaited periods of the year. With its well-established branding, the GSS has remained an essential pillar in driving spend and generating positive impact on our economy.”

There is also a growing market for e-commerce at Singapore-based online merchants. S$303.5 million was spent online by Singapore cardholders in Singapore during the GSS, a 5.6 per cent increase from 2014. The number of e-commerce transactions also rose by 9.8 per cent with 2.3 million MasterCard card transactions recorded during GSS 2015.


GSS 2015 Expenditure & no. of transactions – overall

  2015 2014 % change(2014-2015) CAGR(2011-2015)
Overall spend (S$ million) 2,121 2,076 +2.2% +7.0%
Overall no. of transactions (million) 14.5 13.5 +7.3% +12.0%

GSS 2015 Expenditure & no. of transactions – breakdown by Singapore and visiting cardholders

  2015 2014 % change(2014-2015) CAGR(2011-2015)
Singapore cardholders(S$ million) 1,412 1,461 -3.4% +7.4%
Singapore cardholdersno. of transactions (million) 10.5 10.2 +2.6% +10.3%
Visiting cardholders(S$ million) 708 614 +15.3% +6.3%
Visiting  cardholdersno. of transactions (million) 4.1 3.3 +21.8% +18.2%

Top 5 markets ranked in terms of tourist spending amounts:

Rank Market Spend Amount(S$ million) No. of Transactions (‘000) Top Retail Spend Categories
1 Australia(1st last year) 82.1 435.4 Restaurants and Eating Places
2 Malaysia(2nd last year) 60.2 343.0 Restaurants and Eating Places
3 China(3rd last year) 56.3 267.7 Restaurants and Eating Places
4 Indonesia(5th last year) 46.6 236.8 Department Stores
5 Japan(4th last year) 43.5 340.3 Restaurants and Eating Places

For more information on MasterCard’s GSS deals and initiatives, visit www.greatsingaporesale.com.sg and http://www.mastercard.com/gss.


About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate 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 @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.


Nina Kaur, Weber Shandwick, nkaur@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8043

Genevieve Yeo, Weber Shandwick, gyeo@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8075