New service PayNow to allow interbank transfers using mobile phone numbers

New service PayNow to allow interbank transfers using mobile phone numbers

A new funds transfer service will allow customers to transfer funds between bank accounts using a mobile phone number.

SINGAPORE: Customers of seven banks in Singapore will soon be able to transfer funds from one bank to another, using just the recipient's mobile phone number or identity card number. 

The new service, called PayNow, was unveiled on Tuesday (Jun 27) by the Association of Banks (ABS).

It will be available from 8am on Jul 10, to customers of DBS Bank/POSB, OCBC Bank, UOB, Citibank, HSBC, Maybank and Standard Chartered Bank. 

Customers must first link their bank account number to their mobile number or identity card numbers through Internet banking. One mobile number is limited to one bank account number.

If they do not register, they will not be able to receive funds, but will still be able to use the service to send money. There is also a cap of S$50,000 per transaction, although banks may also impose their own limits.

The service eliminates the need for consumers to know the bank account number of the recipient when making the transfer, said ABS. And unlike existing solutions like DBS' PayLah! there is no need for a mobile wallet.

PayNow also rides on existing infrastructure used by the FAST, or Fast and Secure Transfer system, which allows customers of 19 participating banks to make interbank fund transfers almost instantly and at no cost.

In the case of customers who have changed their mobile numbers, ABS said they would be able to de-link the number from their bank account and register a new one. 

The seven participating banks cover about 90 per cent of total retail transaction volume, said ABS director Ong-Ang Ai Boon, adding that the service was introduced in response to increased demand from customers to make funds transfer more convenient and efficient.

Looking ahead, Mrs Ong-Ang said ABS also plans to introduce PayNow for transactions between businesses and individuals. There is also potential for such a system to be implemented across the ASEAN region, she added. 


The introduction of PayNow comes on the back of efforts by banks and government alike to move towards a Smart Nation and cashless society.

Speaking at the ABS’ 44th annual dinner, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is reviewing the regulatory regime for payments in Singapore.

“Last year, MAS proposed an activity-based regulatory framework for payments that will right-size requirements to the specific payments activities that new players are undertaking. MAS is carefully reviewing the industry feedback provided in the first round of consultation, and aims to respond by November,” he said.

Mr Heng also said that in addition to a second round of consultation, a forum for the payments industry and businesses to come together to discuss strategies and issues, will be established.

Source: CNA/nc