By Reethu Ravi and Sharon Lewis This article is the third of a four-part Tech’s Year in Review series reviewing developments across industries in 2020. It discusses the world of lifestyle tech, focusing on esports and gaming, entertainment and media, and travel. The year 2020 was a tumultuous [...]
Singapore, 22 April 2020 – YouTrip, Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with over 500,000 downloads, has noted a shift in user spending habits over the past months. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, both foreign and domestic e-commerce spending has shown resilience in the Singapore market. The top 3 foreign currencies transacted in the month of February include USD, GBP and AUD.
When travel restrictions were heightened in February, YouTrip observed a 20% increase in e-commerce spending via YouTrip’s prepaid Mastercard, in both foreign and domestic categories. This follows the trend reported by a Nielsen study that states online purchases of FMCG have reached 8% in February this year, compared to 6% of total e-commerce spending in 2019.
Have Internet, Will Shop
With circuit breaker measures and travel restrictions in place, YouTrip is seeing a steady flow of foreign transactions take place online instead. The top 5 e-commerce spending categories are Gaming, Fashion, Home Decor, Health and Supplements and Electronics. Popular foreign e-commerce sites have experienced a boom in spending, with the top sites like Taobao seeing a 111% growth rate, with ASOS in second place with a 60% increase, Alibaba in third at 41%, and Aliexpress at 17%.
Caecilia Chu, Co-Founder and CEO of YouTrip, said: “What is equally important to us now is that we are here for our users and supporting them through times of uncertainty. We’ve most recently introduced a new COVID-19 refund policy to help them process any travel-related refunds back into their linked bank accounts, as our commitment towards putting users first remains steadfast.
YouTrip gives users access to competitive wholesale exchange rates where users can exchange over 150 foreign currencies in real-time, with no extra fees. These features mean users can pay in different currencies with a single card, simplifying the way they spend on global sites.
Although YouTrip is primarily a travel card, many users are using YouTrip’s prepaid Mastercard to make purchases within Singapore as well, primarily in the shopping, food and grocery categories. YouTrip saw an increase for local e-commerce sites EZbuy (65%), and Lazada (11%); food delivery from PizzaHut Delivery (49%), Domino’s Pizza (43%), Foodpanda (35%), McDonald’s (19%), and Deliveroo (13%). Online grocery companies have also seen strong growth as the demand for grocery deliveries spike during this period, NTUC online leads at 226%, PrimeNow (13%), EA Mart (8%)
Play At Home While You Stay At Home
Gaming was the category that showed the greatest growth among the categories. As consumers turn to games for entertainment, consoles like the Nintendo Switch has seen global supply shortages. YouTrip has seen the largest increase for purchases from Nintendo in foreign currency – since the AUD experienced a dip against SGD in mid-March. Nintendo purchases made via AUD increased 278%, with JPY at 76%, and purchases made in SGD at a 57% increase. PlayStation and Steam Games have also seen increases, at 60% and 50% respectively.
The implementation of remote work policies has resulted in users also craving more entertainment and communication. YouTrip saw an increase in transactions for entertainment subscription services with users preferring to go for Amazon Prime (26%), Netflix (14%), and Spotify (15%). The shift to telecommuting has also resulted in a huge increase in demand for paid video conferencing services such as Zoom (212%), and Skype (129%).
“YouTrip was created to help solve the cross border payment dilemma and during this period, we are dedicated to helping our users save on foreign currency transactions online, even if they aren’t physically travelling”, added Caecilia.
YouTrip is a regional financial technology startup, dedicated to creating the best mobile financial services for travellers across Southeast Asia by simplifying overseas spending and creating a fuss-free travel experience. YouTrip first launched in Singapore in 2018 and subsequently in Thailand in 2019.
For more information, please visit you.co/sg