Firms can now use PayNow to settle e-invoices

The instant payment is possible as PayNow Corporate, launched in 2018, links bank account numbers to UEN numbers.
The instant payment is possible as PayNow Corporate, launched in 2018, links bank account numbers to UEN numbers.PHOTO: ST FILE

Businesses will now be able to bill and make payment to one another in a seamless online fashion, as Singapore continues its digital push amid the Covid-19 outbreak. This comes with the integration of PayNow Corporate, an instant fund transfer service for businesses, into Singapore's nationwide e-invoicing network, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said yesterday.

IMDA worked with major local banks DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank to develop the solution.

Previously, after receiving an e-invoice, companies would still have to take an extra step for payment such as logging in through their bank's Internet banking platform, wiring a bank transfer or writing a cheque.

They now need only click on a link provided with the e-invoice, which will direct them to a payment portal with all the relevant information and items automatically filled up, check if the amount billed is correct, and then send instant payment to the business' unique entity number (UEN). The instant payment is possible as PayNow Corporate, launched in 2018, links bank account numbers to UENs.

E-invoicing is the automated creation, exchange and processing of requests for payments between suppliers and buyers using a standardised digital format. It does away with existing digitised invoices, such as computer printouts, PDF documents or scanned invoices which require some level of human input to process.

The e-invoicing network, now known as InvoiceNow, was rolled out last year.

More than 25,000 businesses have joined the network, up from 1,000 in March. "Within the past three months, we have seen an exponential increase in businesses coming on board e-invoicing," said IMDA assistant chief executive Jane Lim. "Our aim is to drive further adoption to benefit more businesses."

IMDA said the billing and payment integration also works with other modes of e-payment, especially for overseas businesses that do not have PayNow. Adopting e-invoicing is one of the conditions for companies to be eligible for a payout of up to $10,000 under the Digital Resilience Bonus, which was announced in May.

Companies that register for InvoiceNow on or before Dec 31 will also be able to receive a grant of $200, paid through PayNow Corporate.

 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2020, with the headline 'Firms can now use PayNow to settle e-invoices'. Print Edition | Subscribe