Singapore retailers lag behind most countries when it comes to contactless payment, said financial sector analyst RFi Group on Tuesday.

Its latest study on payment solutions found that only 15 per cent of retailers here accept contactless payments.

Other Asian countries were ahead in this space. India had 24 per cent of retailers adopting that payment solution, for instance, while neighbouring country Malaysia had 18 per cent. The global average was 20 per cent.

RFi noted this was despite Singapore being the leader in Asia when it came to contactless card ownership and usage.

The study found that 54 per cent of Singapore respondents owned a debit or credit card with the handsfree payment function, and 45 per cent have made a purchase using that.

It also found that only 38 per cent of respondents could imagine a cashless society, and 65 per cent still prefer cash for low value purchases such as a cup of coffee.

Those who were willing to try new types of payments also made up only 19 per cent.

Mr Gerald Ferguson, RFi Group's general manager, said: "The evolution of payments in Singapore has been unconventional compared to other Asian or even Western countries.

"Despite the high ownership of either a contactless payment supported card and quality of infrastructure to support contactless payments, many retailers as well as the public remain slow to adopt smarter payment options."