The pros and cons of going cashless
You signal to the waiter and said, “Bill please!” The waiter turns up moments later with the bill and you paid with your credit card. Your friends thank you and decides to pay you back in cash or transfer via online banking.
Not wanting a stack of notes or coins bursting your luxury wallet, you ask them to transfer via online banking. But wait, there’s no need for that. We have PayNow, DBS PayLah!, OCBC Pay Anyone, and the list goes on.
In his National Day Rally speech on Aug 20, 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted Singaporean’s highly connected lifestyle and digital literacy against their unwillingness to go digital when it comes to payment.
This is all boiled down to the many different payment schemes and systems available which creates confusion, hence he made a call to the industry to “simplify and integrate” in a bid to move into a cashless society as we move into a SMART NATION.
So, what exactly are these PayNow, DBS PayLah!, OCBC Pay Anyone, etc. and what are their differences? Let us break it down for you.
|What is this|
|Limitations||The only limitation is the features of the service as it can only do funds transfer and receiving|
|Upcoming exciting features||PayNow users can look forward to paying taxi drivers, hawkers, business owners via scanning QR codes / receiving money from businesses, salary payments, or insurance claims payout by year end|
|What does it do||Allows you to send or receive money from anyone, request funds from friends, make bill payments, shop online, make a donation, etc.||Allows you to send or receive money from anyone, scan to make payment for your NETS purchases via QR code, and ComfortDelGro taxi rides and shopping purchases.||Allows you to commute, send money, top up Singtel Prepaid Account, shop at over 50,000 locations and local e-commerce store, make donation to charity organisations, etc.|
|Accessibility||Online iBanking and Mobile App||Mobile App||Mobile App|
|How you can send money|
|Who can receive your money||Do not need to be DBS / POSB bank customer||Do not need to be OCBC bank customer or Pay Anyone users||Do not need to be Dash customer|
|How to request for money||PayLah! users can share Payment Request Link or QR Code with the sender to request||Pay Anyone users can share QR code with the sender to request||Not applicable|
With PayNow launched, it does not mean that bank customers have to learn a new way of transferring funds, nor that the existing fund transfer apps will become obsolete. After all, it was meant to complement and not replace the existing e-payment apps, and to make them even easier to use. And the existing e-payment apps and schemes have their functionality and other benefits on top of just peer-to-peer funds transfer.
It seems like we are taking a great leap towards a cashless society, and while moving towards a cashless society seems inevitable, it is not immediate. Especially towards merchants like the wet market, hawker stalls owners, and even small business owners as they have to pay fees when handling credit card and digital transactions which eats into margins.
However, with the new features for PayNow slated to be implemented by year-end of 2017, it seems like the goal to a cashless society is really not far away. But in order for it to be a success, a common QR code that unifies every payment scheme is needed.
For now, I guess most consumers should be happy to have various options which they can complement with PayNow but to truly integrate into a cashless society, PayNow or upcoming apps or schemes (P/S: AliPay is looking to expand to Singapore Banking users and our Razer has also submitted a proposal to build a unified e-payment scheme) should embrace more than just transferring of money, but all forms of relevant services and the top priority is the security of such app.
After all, as a consumer, while it may bring convenience to us, we do not want to see all our personal data stored in one place and seeing it leaked out all at one go, like what happened to the recent 5,400 customers of a reputable insurer. Gone are the days where “Cash is KING” in time to come.
Choosing insurance and financial products was once a complicated and dull process. It was filled with tricks and different terms and conditions. Andre Hesselink didn’t think that was fair. He thought comparing insurance and financial products should be simple, straight forward and transparent. So, with the help of like-minded people, they solved this problem, leading us to GoBear.