BEFORE long, tapping your smart phone on a payment sensor will be the smart, efficient way to go shopping.
DBS Bank has moved quickly to ensure it is well-positioned to tap into this emerging trend.
Near field communication (NFC) technology enables users to tap their smartphones on sensors to make payments.
Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, senior vice-president and head of cards and unsecured loans at DBS, said: "If mobile payments were to happen tomorrow, we have our infrastructure ready. Our contactless readers are all out there."
DBS has about 20,000 contactless readers at stores such as Takashimaya, Toys 'R' Us and Watsons. It estimates Singapore has 35,000 readers - about 10 per cent of all credit card sales terminals.
"Contactless payment is more suitable for small ticket items, so it is important to zoom in and find out which are the appropriate merchant categories, usually those who experience high volume, such as cafes," said Ms Ooi.
She noted that while having the right infrastructure in place is crucial, getting consumers into the habit of "tapping" is also necessary.
Credit cards can also be used for these contactless transactions, which have grown three times in the past year, with more than 100,000 a month.
In June, DBS recorded close to 40,000 contactless transactions. Of these monthly transactions, young consumers aged in their 20s and 30s represented nearly 60 per cent of all the users.
Only two DBS cards - the LiveFresh and the POSB Everyday card - are enabled with this contactless technology. So far, the bank has issued about 600,000 such cards.
"With these two factors converging, we think this may be the correct time for mobile payments," she said.
According to statistics compiled by Visa, contactless credit card transactions are expected to cut queue times by 80 per cent.
However, the main challenge for now is that not all smartphones in the Singapore market are NFC-enabled, even though there is a smartphone penetration rate of about 90 per cent here.
For instance, the rather ubiquitous iPhone is not equipped with the technology.
Ms Ooi, however, does not think this will be a major impediment, saying: "I believe it is a matter of time before all the phones are enabled."