Don’t get left behind – embrace the e-payment systems in Singapore
Much of our transactions, like paying bills and even shopping, are done digitally. Singapore is well ahead of its neighbouring countries in ASEAN when it comes to e-payments.
You almost don’t need cash for your day-to-day transactions in Singapore anymore because of its fantastic contactless payment systems in place. These systems are spurring the use of mobile wallets.
The e-payment landscape in Singapore
DBS Bank’ has invested S$200mil in its digital banking segment and launched its DBS digibank app earlier this year. DBS has also introduced programmes like DBS PayLah, DBS SMS Banking and DBS FasTrack.
The bank has the biggest number of online and mobile banking customers here, with around 2.5mi and 1.25mil users in each respect. These numbers are impressive considering Singapore’s population of 5.39mil.
Recently, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Banking Computer Services (BCS) have been in talks to link bank account numbers to user mobile numbers to allow for faster banking transactions.
And for businesses, the Unique Entity Number (UEN), registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will be used for business transactions. The plan’s expected to hit sometime next year.
BCS currently operates FAST, the online interbank funds transfer system that has been in place for 2 years now.
The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon states that despite having this system in place, the service has yet to realise its full potential because users are needed to remember bank account numbers.
The ABS and BCS believe that by developing a Central Addressing Scheme (CAS), payments made through FAST can be made using just the recipient's mobile number, identity card (NRIC) number or UEN.
The seven leading banks in Singapore (HSBC, DBS, OCBC, UOB, Citibank, Maybank and Standard Chartered) make up a large part of FAST transactions and are working closely with ABS and BCS to bring this new system to life.
ABS also intends to make a unified point-of-sale (UPOS) system that will be able to accept cards from all major brands like Fairprice and Cold Storage.
Even Singapore courts are going through an e-payment change
GovInsider has revealed that the state courts in Singapore complete more than S$70mil in transactions every calendar year. The e-payment service offered by the courts now allow payments at kiosks, smartphones or through its website.
The application of e-payment has freed up manpower at cashier stations, allowing civil servants to concentrate on other job roles. Other agencies like the Accountant General’s Department, Land Transport Authority and even the Ministry of Finance are also looking into the e-payment platform.
Barriers that are being bridged – whether you like it or not
Mobile payments are indeed the in-thing for the new generation, but there are still some who are reluctant to go fully digital. Some consumers remain loyal to older, manual payment options, citing cybersecurity concerns.
There are also certain smaller merchants that are divided on accepting the new e-payment modes.
But this will hardly deter the inevitable shift, as loyalty programmes and mobile payments are the popular and more efficient choice. So, best to embrace it now!