The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) has contributed yet again to the evolution of Singapore's cashless society by launching PayNow Corporate. It is an extension of PayNow, the peer-to-peer instant funds transfer service that requires one to know only a payee's mobile or NRIC number. PayNow Corporate will enable businesses, corporates and official agencies to pay and receive Singapore dollar funds instantly with the linking of their Unique Entity Number to their Singapore bank account. With PayNow Corporate, retail customers of nine participating banks can use PayNow for fund transfers, such as making payments to businesses and receiving payments from the Government.
The prospects of electronic banking are attested to by at least two sets of figures. Between last year's launch of PayNow and this month, there were more than 1.6 million registrations for the service and more than $1.2 billion was transferred through PayNow. As for the new service, banks have received a telling response. At OCBC Bank, nine in 10 of its new business banking customers have pre-registered for PayNow Corporate since April. DBS Bank projects that about 50,000 small and medium-sized enterprises will sign up for PayNow Corporate by the end of next year. Admittedly, other companies are waiting to see how the system works before joining it. Transaction costs are a practical issue.