OCBC rolls out service to allow instant money transfer to Facebook friends

The new function on the updated OCBC Mobile Banking app allows its e-banking customers to send up to $100 to any Facebook friend without needing the recipient's bank account details. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The new function on the updated OCBC Mobile Banking app allows its e-banking customers to send up to $100 to any Facebook friend without needing the recipient's bank account details. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SENDING money to a friend using your cellphone has become easier with a new mobile function, launched by OCBC Bank.

Dubbed OCBC Pay Anyone, the new function on the updated OCBC Mobile Banking app allows its e-banking customers to send up to $100 to any Facebook friend without needing the recipient's bank account details. The recipient can be the customer of any bank.

Touted to be the first of its kind here, the service rides on the recently introduced Fast And Secure Transfers (Fast) inter-bank network that allows money transfers to be made instantly, compared with in two to three days via eGiro or cheques.

Today, 14 local and foreign banks are using Fast.

The service addresses a pain point in e-transfers today: the need to know the recipient's account number at the point of transfer.

"But most consumers do not remember their account number," said Mr Pranav Seth, head of e-business and business transformation at OCBC Bank.

"With this service, we have just entered into a new era of peer-to-peer transfer as ease of use has improved significantly," he said, adding that the service will stay free "as of now".

Using the service, the bank's e-banking users also do not need to add payees to their online accounts, which currently requires the use of a security token. OCBC Pay Anyone also allows money to be sent to any mobile phone number or e-mail address.

Using the function, the sender will be prompted to select a recipient from his contact list -- on Facebook, phone book or e-mail address book. The sender then needs to log into his OCBC Mobile Banking account and create a 6-digit password to be given to the recipient to collect the funds. Then the sender needs to enter a one-time password sent to his mobile phone to complete the transfer.

The recipient will get an SMS, e-mail or private Facebook post with a link to OCBC's website and has up to 24 hours to collect the money. Clicking on the link, the recipient will be directed to an OCBC web page where he will need to enter his bank account number and the sender-created 6-digit password.