Singapore's ambition to create a cashless society is to receive a big boost with the forthcoming introduction of the banking industry's PayNow mobile app to the business community.
Launched in July 2017 by the Association of Banks in Singapore with the support of seven local banks as a P2P funds transfer app for retail customers, PayNow is set to be switched on for business users next week.
PayNow Corporate enables corporates, businesses and Government agencies to pay and receive funds instantaneously by linking their Unique Entity Number (UEN) to their Singapore bank account. The app is also synched up to Singapore's Quick Response Code, enabling users to generate their own QR codes for customers to scan and pay using their existing mobile app.
OCBC Bank says the response by corporates has been overwhelmingly positive, with nine in ten new business customers pre-registering for the roll out since April 2018. A survey conducted among 200 of the bank's SMEs found that two-in-three expect to go completely cashless - including doing away with the use of cheques - by 2023. Indeed, 45% of the respondents anticipated going cashless by as early as 2020.
Melvyn Low, head of global transaction banking, OCBC Bank comments: “Singapore’s e-payments journey so far has been focused on the consumer - providing them with the tools to make e-payments and educating them about the benefits. But for e-payments to become pervasive, the next big step has to come from businesses. From the sustained, strong response to PayNow from our customers, we are confident that there will be a significant reduction in cash and cheque use."