OCBC offers funds transfer via mobile messaging apps

The OCBC Keyboard works within any mobile app to activate the funds transfer. The transfer rides on the OCBC Pay Anyone feature in the OCBC Mobile Banking app.
The OCBC Keyboard works within any mobile app to activate the funds transfer. The transfer rides on the OCBC Pay Anyone feature in the OCBC Mobile Banking app.PHOTO: OCBC

OCBC mobile banking customers can now type into any messaging app - like WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail and Instagram - to initiate a funds transfer to another mobile number.

This is possible with the roll-out of OCBC Keyboard, which works within any mobile app to activate the funds transfer. The transfer rides on the OCBC Pay Anyone feature in the OCBC Mobile Banking app.

"With OCBC Keyboard, we are embedding payments in our customers' lives and making it completely frictionless for them to pay while they go about (with) everyday tasks like chatting on WhatsApp, sending an e-mail, browsing items on Carousell or browsing the Internet," said Mr Aditya Gupta, OCBC Bank's head of e-business in Singapore.

Users need to download the latest version of the OCBC Mobile Banking app and select the OCBC Keyboard as the default keyboard. The keyboard works only on Android smartphones and The Straits Times understands it will not be available on the Apple iPhone.

After this one-time set-up, the OCBC Pay Anyone icon will appear on the keyboard that shows up in apps. Clicking on the icon will initiate the payment process.

Users just need to enter the mobile number of the recipient and the amount to transfer. They must also enter their banking username and password, and a one-time password sent to their mobile phone to authenticate the transaction.

Users of PayNow will receive the money instantly. PayNow is an instant fund transfer service among seven participating banks which was launched last month that links bank accounts to a mobile phone number or NRIC number.

Recipients who have yet to register for PayNow will receive a Web link via SMS that they click on and enter a sender-supplied six-digit passcode to receive the money in their bank account. As the transfer is via the Fast online inter-bank funds transfer system, the recipient does not need to be an OCBC account holder.

Fast has been a feature of the OCBC Mobile Banking app since 2014, allowing its customers to send money directly to any bank account in Singapore using just the recipient's mobile number, e-mail address or Facebook account. It was revolutionary because senders need not know the recipient's bank account details to make a transfer.

Last month, UOB launched a similar keyboard dubbed UOB MyKey. It works on the UOB Mighty app in similar ways as the OCBC Keyboard to allow users to send money instantly via PayNow, using WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. It is also an Android-only feature.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'OCBC offers funds transfer via mobile messaging apps'. Print Edition | Subscribe