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Digitalization of business in Singapore - statistics & facts

In November 2014, Singapore introduced its Smart Nation program, which would see it pursue a nation-wide digital transformation. Through this, it aimed to be the key driver of the digitalization wave in Southeast Asia. The digitalization of business is part of this strategy. In addition to its investments in digital infrastructure, the government in Singapore has also encouraged businesses in the country to invest in digitalization. In 2019, close to 40 percent of Singaporean enterprises stated that they have engaged in digital investments. Businesses in Singapore have also adjusted their business strategy to better prepare for this endeavor.

Reshaping the business strategy

   The increasing digitalization of business in the country has stimulated enterprises to redesign their business model accordingly. Businesses that had solely relied on their physical stores early on started making digital investments in different areas to enable them to conduct their business online. These investments were mostly in their hardware or network, as well as in cybersecurity software to protect their digital assets. By operating both online and offline, as well as improving their digital services, these businesses would be able to accommodate their customers’ needs and preferences more efficiently, which may then result in higher business gains. Other benefits from digital investment for enterprises include cost reduction, as well as the efficiency of manpower.

In addition to transforming their business models, businesses in Singapore have also adopted digital transactions, incorporating the use of e-payments and e-invoicing. In 2019, approximately 90 percent of Singaporean enterprises used e-payment methods in the form of bank giro and bank fund transfer instruction. As for the leading e-invoicing modes used, most enterprises sent and received their invoices electronically.  

The impact of COVID-19 on the digitalization of business in Singapore

     The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the acceleration of the digitalization of businesses in Singapore. Shifts in the online purchase behavior among Singaporean consumers during the pandemic could further incentivize businesses to increase the speed of their digitalization to meet consumer demand. The convenience of shopping online, while allowing them to practice social distancing at the same time, had encouraged more consumers to purchase goods using digital platforms. This in turn would lead to an increase in the use of e-payments to pay for these types of transactions. Businesses would therefore need to have a robust digitalization strategy and infrastructure to support increasing consumer activity online.

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