New DBS mobile app allows users to transfer up to $999 instantly

SINGAPORE - DBS launched a new mobile payment solution on Thursday that allows users to transfer up to $999 a day to fellow DBS account users, by just keying in their phone numbers.

Called DBS PayLah!, the mobile app requires every user to register an account with a user name and password. The user also needs to provide his account details for the PayLah! account to be linked to his phone number. During the registration process, users will be asked to key in a one-time password sent to their phones or a number code on their banking token to ensure security.

Users then top up their PayLah! accounts with up to $999 drawn from their bank accounts. Here, they are required to key in a code from their tokens to ensure security. Once they have topped up their accounts they can start sending money to other recipients with PayLah! accounts, simply by keying in the recipient's phone number.

For each subsequent log-in to their PayLah! app, they would need to key in their user name and password. They would also need to key in a SMS one-time pin for each subsequent top up their accounts.

DBS PayLah! recipient get the payment instantly. At $999 a day, this amount is also the highest in the industry for mobile solutions, said DBS.

Users can also set sending limits in their PayLah! accounts to ensure that they do not overspend.

Other banks have come up with similar payment solutions but a recent one by OCBC launched earlier this month only allowed customers to send up to $100.

DBS has allowed a higher limit to allow greater flexibility for payment usage. "You can use it to pay a helper's salary, give children pocket money, or pay merchants with sole proprietorships," said Mr Louis Foo, Senior Vice President of Consumer Banking Group eBusiness.

Since DBS PayLah! only applies to DBS or POSB customers - 4 out of 5 Singaporeans have a DBS or POSB account- the bank is able to trace who transferred the funds and who received them in this "closed loop", added Mr Foo.

"Having a critical mass is important to drive awareness and usage of such mobile payment," he said.

If users lose their phones, they are advised to report the loss immediately to DBS, so that the bank can stop all transactions from their PayLah! accounts. If they transfer money to the wrong number, like with all other bank transfers, DBS will investigate and try to facilitate a return of the money.

DBS launched the app to capitalise on a growing mobile market for banking. Its mobile banking user base has grown from 200,000 to 800,000 in four years and mobile transactions make up more than 30 per cent of its online transactions. DBS also claims to have the biggest mobile banking user base in Singapore.

Since its app went live on the AppStore and Google Play last week, more than 5,000 users have used it.