Pay taxes, bills with instant, self-service Giro set-up

OCBC senior vice-president of group operations and technology Praveen Raina said the instant Giro set-up will make payment collection more efficient. OCBC's first partner, Iras, will have Giro on its myTax Portal (right).
OCBC senior vice-president of group operations and technology Praveen Raina said the instant Giro set-up will make payment collection more efficient. OCBC's first partner, Iras, will have Giro on its myTax Portal.PHOTO: OCBC
OCBC senior vice-president of group operations and technology Praveen Raina said the instant Giro set-up will make payment collection more efficient. OCBC's first partner, Iras, will have Giro on its myTax Portal (right).
OCBC senior vice-president of group operations and technology Praveen Raina said the instant Giro set-up will make payment collection more efficient. OCBC's first partner, Iras, will have Giro on its myTax Portal.PHOTO: OCBC

Missing a bill payment for a utility or the taxman can be costly but a move by OCBC could make that a thing of the past.

The bank has put out software that will allow organisations to set up Giro payment facilities on their websites or apps in a way that will be compatible with OCBC systems. This will let its customers set up automatic payments once the service is up and running by November.

The local lender's first partner is the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), which will have Giro on its myTax Portal.

This means OCBC account holders can instantly arrange to pay income and property tax by Giro on the Iras website, rather than having to go through the bank, either online or with paper forms.

This cuts down on the waiting time to have Giro applications approved, a period that can be as long as three weeks.

OCBC senior vice-president of group operations and technology Praveen Raina said: "With instant Giro set-up made possible and the added convenience, we expect more customers to switch to Giro as their payment choice for all bills, making late payments a thing of the past. This, in turn, will benefit billing organisations as payment collections will be more efficient and they will not have to spend time and resources reminding customers to meet their payment deadlines."

Ms Ang Sock Tiang, assistant commissioner for accounting and processing at Iras, said the tax authority hopes to roll out the option to other banks once they have developed their own Giro-friendly software applications.

OCBC also unveiled four other software tools yesterday that businesses can bundle into their digital offerings.

They are known as application programming interfaces, or APIs, and are essentially building blocks of code that can allow developers to share information and integrate different types of software with one another.

OCBC's new APIs aim to make transactions and payments easier and available across more digital platforms. They could, for example, let e-commerce merchants accept card or Pay Anyone app payments on their websites.

The bank launched a platform in May last year to make such finance-related program code available to software developers. So far, its in-house team has released 43 such solutions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'Pay taxes, bills with instant, self-service Giro set-up'. Print Edition | Subscribe