Man wearing glasses using phone.

SINGAPORE: UnaFinancial analysts report that digital investment apps have taken the lead as the most widely used fintech applications in Singapore.

The study, based on data.ai’s analysis of 66 apps, reveals that 35.9% Singaporeans use digital investment apps aged 15 and above, marking 14.7 times growth from Aug 2018 to Nov 2023.

The surge in the popularity of digital investment apps is attributed to the local population’s desire to enhance personal wealth, driven by the country’s high living standards.

Additionally, “it is also influenced by a recent spread of robo-advisors, which has allowed decreasing the minimum investing capital amount,” analysts said.

Penetration of FinTech apps in Singapore
Photo: UnaFinancial

Following closely behind are e-commerce applications, embraced by 34.6% of the population.

The penetration level for these apps witnessed a 2.2 times increase between Aug 2018 and Nov 2023.

Analysts said, “Interestingly, the trend of using e-commerce apps became horizontal after the growth phase. First, there was a general increase of digitalization after the pandemic, which accelerated the introduction of online shopping.

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“The growing demand led to an increase in supply, which was supported by the government. The third driving force was the improving technological base – in 2023, 98% of the population owned smartphones. Today, however, all three factors have almost reached their maximum potential, and to develop further, the market needs a new impetus.”

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps came third on the list, experiencing a 3.3 times surge in usage since 2018. This growth is attributed to the expanding presence of e-commerce platforms and the increasing popularity of this lending method across the region.

Other notable fintech applications include e-wallets (20.8%), digital banking (20.7%), and blockchain and cryptocurrency (20.2%). Despite the steady growth in these segments, POS- and PDL apps are the least utilised, with penetration rates of 1.0% and 0.4%, respectively.

The study employed three methodologies to calculate active users, with data.ai providing information on the e-commerce sector. For other sectors, the analysts relied on the number of app downloads to estimate user numbers.

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The fintech scene in Singapore is advancing rapidly, reflecting the dynamic choices and tech-savvy nature of Singaporeans./TISG