MasterCard cardholders alone spent a whopping US$1.5 billion during Great Singapore Sale 2013 - Alvinology

MasterCard cardholders alone spent a whopping US$1.5 billion during Great Singapore Sale 2013

MasterCard cardholders spent  a whopping US$1,491.4 million during the Great Singapore Sale 2013 (GSS2013), held from 31 May to 28 July 2013. Singapore MasterCard cardholders contributed to the bulk of the MasterCard receipts, spending US$1,034.7 million – or a 11.3% increase – from a year before in 2012 (25 May – 22 July 2012). The number of transactions by Singapore MasterCard cardholders grew 11.1% to 9.2 million.

GSS Shopping with MasterCard
GSS Shopping with MasterCard

These are really impressive figures, considering the haze that struck during the GSS period and the uncertain economic outlook which would have curbed spending. Rachel and I  made our own small contribution to the total spending, shopping with MasterCard during the GSS. 

GSS Shopping with my wife and son
GSS Shopping with my wife and son

Growth in overall spend during the GSS, including spend by visiting MasterCard cardholders, held steady at 5.7%, with the number of transactions increasing by 12.1% to 12.0 million compared to a year before. While spend by visiting MasterCard cardholders dipped by 4.8% to US$456.7 million during GSS2013, transactions grew 15.7% to 2.8 million. Cardholders from Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China emerged as the top five spenders for GSS2013.

Online spending on MasterCard cards for the same period grew 25.6% to US$326.7 million – accounting for close to a quarter of total spend – while the number of transactions online grew 25.5% to 3.7 million.

MasterCard continues the impetus for contactless payments in Singapore – with the total number of transactions with contactless payments (MasterCard PayPass) growing by almost four times in the first half of 2013 (January – June 2013) compared to the same period a year before. MasterCard contactless payments in Singapore was first launched in 2011.

Expenditure & no. of transactions – overall

  2013 2012  % change 
Overall spend (US$ million)  $1,491 $1,410 +5.7
Overall no. of transactions  12,027,807 10,727,374 +12.1

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

  2013 2012  % change 
Singapore cardholdersSpend (US$ million)


$1,035 $930 +11.3
Singapore cardholdersNo. of transactions


9,217,196 8,298,528 +11.1
Visiting cardholdersSpend (US$ million)


$457 $480 -4.8
Visiting cardholdersNo. of transactions


2,810,611 2,428,846 +15.7
Top 5 markets in terms of visiting MasterCard cardholders:
Total spend (US$)
% change vs corresponding period in 2012
No. of transactions
% change  vs corresponding period in 2012
(1st last year)
$56.6 million
(4th last year)
$44.8 million
(3rd last year)
$41.9 million
(5th last year)
$36.0 million
(6th last year)
$31.4 million


Top categories of retail spend by tourists from top 5 markets (excluding spend on accommodation and airfare):

Market (Top spend category) Spend (US$)  No. of transactions
Australia – Department Stores $3.3 million 33,384
Malaysia – Computers, Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software $3.3 million 3,603
Indonesia – Department Stores $3.6 million 21,741
Japan – Miscellaneous and Speciality Retail Stores $2.6 million 24,961
China – Miscellaneous and Speciality Retail Stores $3.7 million 22,555
  • Visitors from Australia remain top foreign spenders in Singapore during GSS2013, with visitor spending from China taking U.S.’ spot in top five
  • Australian and Indonesia MasterCard cardholders spent most at Department Stores
  • Computers and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software was the most popular spend category among Malaysian MasterCard cardholders during GSS2013
  • Japanese and Chinese MasterCard cardholders were big on Speciality Retail items

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. MasterCard Worldwide 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.

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