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Non-bank financial institutions to get access to FAST, PayNow

Non-bank financial institutions to get access to FAST, PayNow

File photo of a person using the PayNow electronic funds transfer service. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: From February next year, eligible non-bank financial institutions will have direct access to retail payment services like Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST) and PayNow. 

This will allow users to make real-time funds transfers between bank accounts and e-wallets, as well as across different e-wallets, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in a media release on Monday (Nov 30). 

READ: Individuals and small businesses receive new incentives to use PayNow

Currently, most e-wallets require the use of debit or credit cards to top up funds. Transfers between e-wallets are also not possible. 

Businesses that are partnered with any of the 23 FAST or nine PayNow banks will benefit from this move. 

E-wallets that have traditionally been "closed-loop ecosystems" will also be able to receive real-time payments from other users of e-wallets of mobile banking applications that join FAST or PayNow. 

"This will enable businesses to access a larger market of consumers than before for receiving e-payments instantly and seamlessly," said MAS. 

The eligible institutions, which have to be licensed as major payment institutions under the Payment Services Act, will be able to connect directly via a new Application Programming Interface (API) payment gateway. 

"The API payment gateway is better geared to the technology architecture of banks and non-bank financial institutions, and can also be used by other banks and non-bank financial institutions in future," said MAS. 

READ: Nearly a third of hawker stalls in Singapore offer e-payment

Commentary: Hawkers want to embrace cashless payments but say they need help tackling barriers

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said direct access to FAST and PayNow "closes the last-mile gap in Singapore's e-payments journey". 

"Consumers who may not have ready access to debit or credit cards to fund their e-wallets will now have the option to do so directly through their bank accounts," said Mr Menon. 

He added that the adoption of e-payments will become "even more simple" for individuals and businesses. 

Source: CNA/ad(cy)

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