In the recent National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared that Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say visited Shanghai years ago and saw that customers could buy chestnuts from a roadside hawker and pay with their smartphones without any cash.
Building a Smart Nation is one of the three key longer-term issues he wants Singapore to focus on. And electronic payments play an important role in fulfilling that vision.
“We have too many different e-payment schemes and systems in Singapore that don’t talk to one another. It is inconvenient for consumers and costly for businesses. As a result, most of us still prefer cash and cheques”, said Mr Lee.
Currently, about 6 in 10 transactions are made in cash and cheques. But Singapore is working to change that.
One such effort is the rolling out of PayNow on 10 July 2017 by the Association of Banks.
PayNow – Pay and receive money with just a mobile number
PayNow is a cashless service that links your mobile or NRIC number to your bank account. Your mobile or NRIC number essentially replaces your bank account number.
For example, when you want to pay your colleague back for lunch, simply log into your mobile banking app, enter his mobile or NRIC/FIN number, and transfer directly from your bank account. It’s safe, convenient, and free.
PayNow works for customers of DBS Bank/POSB, OCBC Bank, UOB, Citibank, HSBC, Maybank and Standard Chartered Bank and there is no need for mobile wallets.
Mr Lee also shared that with PayNow, we will soon be able to use QR codes to pay businesses without any fees.
“Next time I am at a hawker centre, I look forward to paying for my meal with PayNow,” he said.
Advantages of PayNow
- Works with all seven participating banks
- You no longer need the recipient’s bank name or account number to transfer money. All you need is their mobile or NRIC/FIN number
- You can easily find the recipient’s name and mobile number if you allow the banking mobile app access to your phone’s contact list
- It leverages on FAST for secure and almost instant transfers
- You don’t have to top up a mobile wallet to transfer money
- The recipient doesn’t have to do anything to receive money. The amount will be reflected in their account automatically
- More features will be developed for greater convenience in future, including allowing fuss-free cashless payments to businesses
The only thing to note is that access to PayNow depends on your bank’s internet banking and mobile banking app interface. For some, it may take a few clicks for you to get to PayNow while others only require two clicks.
How to sign up for PayNow
Simply link your mobile and/or Singapore NRIC/FIN number to the bank account that you want the money to be transferred to.
- Log in to your preferred bank’s internet banking or mobile banking app
- Go to the PayNow registration screen and link your mobile and/or NRIC/FIN number to your preferred bank account
- An SMS OTP will be sent to your phone number. Enter it into the screen to complete the verification
- Lastly, enter your preferred name for identification
Do note that you can only link your mobile number to one bank and your NRIC/FIN to another. You cannot link the same mobile/NRIC/FIN number to more than one bank.
You may also like to know that Maybank is the first and only bank that offers PayNow registration via SMS. More information here.
What if I changed my mobile number?
Inform your bank of the change and your old number will be de-linked from your bank account. You can then link your new number with the above steps.
In order to send money to your recipient, he/she needs to have signed up for PayNow. Enter their mobile or NRIC/FIN number to send money securely and almost instantly.
- Log in to your bank’s internet banking or mobile banking app
- Go to the PayNow transfer screen, enter the recipient’s mobile or NRIC/FIN number or allow the app access to your phone book to easily find their mobile number
- Enter the amount you want to transfer
- Verify that the recipient’s name (as registered on PayNow) is correct before confirming the transfer
The amount transferred will go straight to your recipient’s bank account. There’s no need for them to do anything to receive the money.
So, have you signed up for PayNow yet?