Press Release

Half of Singapore consumers ready to shop via connected devices but concerns remain

Fifty percent of Singapore consumers would be comfortable if a device in their home ordered a product on their behalf

September 27, 2017

27th September 2017 – Singapore — Singapore consumers are positive toward using Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices in their homes to make payments, according to new data by Worldpay. Half of those surveyed are ready to embrace such technology and would be comfortable if a device in their home ordered a product on their behalf.

Worldpay’s Connected Consumer research examined the viewpoints of over 20,212 consumers across 10 markets on their opinions about connected devices in the home, as well as how comfortable they would be making payments via the technology.

As smart consumer technologies evolve, connected devices ranging from smart fridges to virtual assistants are increasingly able to consume services from other devices, predict shopping lists, order products and make payments on consumers’ behalf – in some cases without even asking permission. There is enthusiasm for such technology amongst Singaporeans; 60% say they can see what the benefits would be about having such a device in the home and 57% like the idea of having a machine anticipating their needs and making life easier.

Amongst the technologies Worldpay surveyed perceptions towards, Singaporean consumers demonstrated remarkable ease with virtual assistants. Notably, consumers are more likely to embrace virtual assistants and chatbots tied to a specific service or retailer. For example, 82% would be comfortable for a virtual assistant run by a company like a travel agency to organise and/or pay for items such as a restaurant, and 78% would be comfortable with a virtual assistant booking their preferred seat on a plane.

Similar to other markets, privacy topped Singaporean concerns towards allowing connected devices to order products on their behalf, with 78% worried that device manufacturers would share their personal data and a similar proportion (79%) worried about the prospect of connected devices being hacked.

Singapore consumers also indicated a desire to remain in control and informed of payments. In order to provide some reassurance and transparency, respondents were most likely to demand the ability to set rules around what is purchased and when (62%), specifically preferring fixed rules such as limiting the amount that can be spent each week (46%). They also prefer to receive a notification of an order placed (48%) and being able to cancel an order (52%). 55% would want to approve a purchase before it is made.

To help businesses overcome the perceived security barrier, Worldpay is trialling an open source software development kit (SDK) to facilitate payments in the IoT. Worldpay Within is an embeddable payments agent that allows smart devices to make and take payments as quickly and effectively as a physical shopping environment. With the number of connected devices estimated to reach 20 billion by the end of this year1, it is increasingly important for these devices to communicate effectively and securely with each other, including making payments.

However, Worldpay’s research showed that Singaporeans are still wary that IoT’s benefits outweigh their fears, ultimately holding back adoption. To turn the possibility of IoT payments into an everyday, mainstream reality, merchants must choose solutions that allow them to demonstrate to shoppers how IoT can create a seamless and safe shopping experience.

Phil Pomford, General Manager for Asia Pacific at Worldpay, commented: “No matter if done by a human or machine, it is vital for consumers to remain in control when they’re delegating payment tasks. Our research has found that there should always be a conscious ‘act of consent’; be that via a device notification, button press or a pre-set rule like a spending limit, being agreed in advance.

“The beauty of technology advancements means that there are many opportunities for virtual assistants and connected devices to make consumers lives easier. If machines can offer consumers a ‘concierge’ style service that reduces day-to-day life admin and menial tasks then there is no reason why they won’t want to delegate some of their shopping responsibilities – after all, we would all appreciate an extra bit of time to ourselves. In the end, consumers need confidence that machines can be trusted to make the right decisions and keep their owners informed and in control.”

About the data
The research was conducted by research house Opinium in June 2017 and interviewed 20,000 consumers who have heard about the Internet of Things in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, The Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United States of America and United Kingdom. The full Connected Consumer report is available upon request. In Germany, 2,002 consumers were surveyed.

About Worldpay
Worldpay is a leading payments company with global reach. We provide an extensive range of technology-led payment products and services to around 400,000 customers, enabling their businesses to grow and prosper. We manage the increasing complexity of the payments landscape for our customers, allowing them to accept the widest range of payment types around the world. Using our network and technology, we are able to process payments from geographies covering 99% of global GDP, across 146 countries and 126 currencies. We help our customers to accept more than 300 different payment types. For more information, Visit us at

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1 Statista: IoT – Number of connected devices worldwide 2015-2025