Singapore is thriving towards being a cashless economy as part of its Smart Nation 2020 vision. The launch of PayNow Corporate in August 2018 announced in Singapore Budget 2018 marks a significant step towards achieving its vision of promoting digitalization of payments in the country. PayNow Corporate is an extension of the PayNow initiative, and will allow efficient and convenient transfer of funds between businesses eliminating the need for knowing the account numbers.
PayNow was launched by the Association of Banks in July 2017 to cater to the growing demands from the customers for an efficient and easy fund transfer system. PayNow allowed customers to send and receive funds instantly at no cost by just linking bank account to their mobile number or identity card numbers. By January 2018, PayNow had attracted more than 700,000 sign-ups, recording a transaction volume of more than S$ 370 million from approximately two million transactions.
PayNow Corporate, similar to PayNow, requires the businesses to link their bank accounts to their Unique Entry Numbers (UENs). This enhanced service for transfer of funds will only require the mobile number, UEN for businesses or NRIC for individuals for sending and receiving funds. The Singapore government also plans to introduce PayNow Corporate to the public agencies for further promotion of the e-payments initiatives. From March 2018, the pilot use of PayNow will be implemented by the Ministry of Education for disbursement of Edusave Awards to the polytechnic and ITE students. Moreover, the CPF Board also is expected to start using PayNow for the disbursement of withdrawals of CPF savings in lump sum to the entitled members. The implementation of PayNow for disbursements will reduce the time frame for receipt of payouts by the members from the currently required five working days to receipt on the same day. The Singapore government also plans to launch a national QR code standard in 2018 along with the aim to target of launching 25,000 unified Point-of-sale terminals in 2019.
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