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).
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.
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.