Grab Financial Group, Liquid Group and Singtel’s Dash now offer PayNow
By Edil Corneille
3 Non-bank Financial Institutions (NFIs) – Grab Financial Group, Liquid Group and Singtel’s Dash will now be offering the PayNow service, as announced by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS). PayNow is a peer-to-peer funds transfer service.
The announcement is good news for users of the e-wallet users of these NFIs where they will be enabled to make or receive real-time funds transfers with PayNow, without the need for e-wallet account details.
Funds transfers can be made between bank accounts and e-wallets, as well as across e-wallets. To support this, a new proxy called the Virtual Payment Address (VPA) has been made available, in addition to the existing PayNow proxies – mobile numbers, NRIC/FIN numbers and Unique Entity Numbers (UENs).
VPA helps individuals distinguish between PayNow registrations that are linked to bank accounts, from those linked to NFI e-wallets. VPA allows individuals to link their mobile number with an NFI e-wallet while keeping their existing PayNow registration that is linked to a bank account. Similar to the nine PayNow bank apps, customers will also be able to use these NFI e-wallets to make payments to merchants by scanning their PayNow-SGQR labels in 2021.
This is the first time PayNow has been made available to non-banks. In November 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that eligible NFIs will have direct access to the banking system’s retail payments infrastructure from February 2021.
The addition of the three NFIs is expected to boost the adoption and usage of PayNow and accelerate Singapore’s path towards a less-cash, digital economy. The addition of the three NFIs brings the total number of PayNow participating institutions to 12. This includes the nine banks: Bank of China, Citi Singapore, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB.
As of January 24, 2021, the total number of PayNow registrations is close to five million, including 2.73 million mobile number, 1.98 million NRIC/FIN number, and 280k UEN registrations. More than S$50 billion has been being transacted using the service since its launch in July 2017, with monthly transaction values crossing $5.08 billion in December 2020.
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