PayNow, a service which allow inter-bank transfer using mobile number or identification number, will be accepting business transaction on 13th August with PayNow Corporate. It means that businesses will be able to receive or pay money to other companies using this PayNow simply by linking their unique entity number (UEN) or registration number to their bank number. The service will be offered by 7 banks, which are already offering PayNow to their retail customers, namely Citibank, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank.
PayNow is built on FAST, which is Singapore’s 24/7 real-time inter-bank retail payment system owned by NETS. It currently is free to use with instant intra-bank transfer simply by linking to one’s bank accounts to mobile phone numbers or NRIC/FIN numbers. PayNow Corporate will also be incorporated with SG QR, allowing stores to receive mobile payment through QR code.
SG QR is an initiative by MAS to increase acceptance and interoperability of QR code payment in Singapore. It will combine different QR code payment onto 1 QR code, in line with EMV® QR Code specification used globally, which can be used by local and foreign QR code payment solutions. It is also act as a key driver in transforming Singapore into a cashless society and reduce confusion by having too many QR code by different mobile payment system.
PayNow currently have more than 1.4 million registrations, with more than S$900 million been transferred since its launch. Its convenience and real time intra-bank transfer account for its success, as Singapore heads towards a cashless society.
In 2015, ATM cash withdrawals were almost 60% of e-payment transaction value measured by FAST and card payments. This came down to about 40% at the end of 2017. Minister of Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung, aims to bring down the number even more to 20% of all transactions by 2020.
Mr Ong also wish to reduce the number of cheques used in Singapore with the new PayNow Corporate and allow Singapore to go cheque-free by 2025. The share of cheques as a proportion of all payments using FAST, GIRO and cheques was about 28 per cent in 2017, down from 37 per cent in 2015.
Aside from businesses, public agencies will also be able to use the PayNow service. The Ministry of Education will use PayNow to disburse Edusave Awards to ITE and polytechnic students, while CPF Board will use PayNow to disburse lump sum withdrawals of CPF savings, allowing eligible members to receive their CPF payouts on the same day instead of the usual five working days.