PayNow is a peer-to-peer fund transfer service launched by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) on 10 July 2017 and is available to all consumers in Singapore. It enables instantaneous transactions that is available 24/7.
PayNow Is Linked To Thailand’s PromptPay
On 29 April 2021, MAS announced a first-of-its-kind linkage between PayNow to Thailand’s PromptPay. This means that customers of participating banks in Singapore and Thailand can transfer up to $1,000 or THB25,000 in a matter of minutes, between participating banks in both countries daily.
This will solve long-standing pain points in cross-border money transfers and remittances. Fees will be affordably priced and transparently displayed to customers before the transactions – and will be in line with market rates.
Participating banks in Singapore include DBS, OCBC and UOB, while participating banks in Thailand include Bangkok Bank, Kasikornbank, Krung Thai Bank, and The Siam Commercial Bank.
What Is PayNow Corporate?
PayNow for businesses, or PayNow Corporate, extends this payment platform to businesses in Singapore. Companies in Singapore can use it to pay and receive Singapore Dollar funds instantly by linking your Unique Entity Number (UEN) to your bank account. Customers do not need to know your bank account details.
Similar to cash, cheques or bank transfers, PayNow is an excellent alternative method for businesses to pay its vendors and to receive payments from its customers.
You simply need to register for PayNow Corporate with your bank for free. Many banks, such as OCBC, offer a fee waiver until 31 December 2022. PayNow Corporate is offered by 14 participating banks and three participating Non-Bank Financial Institutions:
- Bank of China
- BNP Paribas
- CIMB Bank Berhad
- Citibank Singapore Limited
- DBS Bank/POSB
- Deutsche Bank
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC)
- J.P. Morgan
- OCBC Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
- Singtel Dash
#1 Convenient & Contactless
COVID-19 has only expedited the need for cashless and contactless payment solutions. PayNow helps facilitate this.
Through PayNow Corporate, businesses can get a unique QR code, which allows their customers to pay via their mobile phone so that no physical cash needs to be exchanged. This is also safer as it reduces physical contact to lower transmission numbers.
PayNow also gives businesses the option to allow their customers to pay from wherever it’s convenient for them. For example, enrichment centers can allow their customers to pay in advance when they book for classes, as opposed to having to pay on the spot with cash, cheque or Nets when they show up for classes. This also helps reduces no-show rates, which are detrimental for a business.
Businesses can also accept payment via PayNow Corporate by putting their SGQR code on invoices or via their Unique Entity Number (UEN).
In a previous article, we wrote about how cash flow is critical for the survival of any business. While many business owners naturally focus on generating profits for their companies, strong cash flow is also essential to continue running a healthy business.
When you compare the speed of PayNow against traditional payment methods such as cheques, there’s no comparison. For a customer issuing a cheque payment and sending it via mail, it will take about 2-4 working days for the mail to arrive. After that, businesses (assuming they check their letter box daily) still need to bank in the cheque, which would take another three working days. In total, from the time the customer issues the cheque, to the time the company receives payment, it could easily take a week or more.
For businesses where cash flow is essential, PayNow is clearly the superior option. Once a transfer is made, businesses get paid instantly.
#3 Security & Safety
Security and safety are paramount when dealing with any money-related matters. In this regard, PayNow, while convenient, doesn’t compromise on its security.
According to the ABS, PayNow adopts the same high security standards established by the banking industry in Singapore for fund transfers including FAST.
In addition, unlike a traditional fund transfer, senders will also be able to see the recipient’s name before confirming the transfer. This confirmation provides added assurance to the sender that money is being sent to the intended recipient. For entities transferring funds, a confirmation process is also available.
When compared to cash payment, PayNow is safer as it doesn’t require businesses to collect and hold cash. This reduces the risk of crime, stealing and other challenges that businesses may face when handling large sums of money regularly. It’s even safer as compared to cheques, which can be misplaced.
#4 Receive Government Payouts Faster
Just like Singapore Citizens and PRs receive government payouts faster with PayNow, the government is also using PayNow to disburse funds to companies from the various schemes, such as the Jobs Support Scheme.
By registering PayNow for your business, you will be able to receive funds from the government much quicker than traditional cheques and even GIRO transfers.
How To Register For PayNow For Businesses
Registering for PayNow for your business can be done quickly and entirely online. There are 14 participating banks that you can register for PayNow Corporate with your business account. Simply log-in to your online business banking or business mobile banking app to do so.
For example, if you are an OCBC business banking user, you can register your business account for PayNow by linking your account to your UEN using [email protected] (Desktop) or your OCBC Business Mobile Banking app.
You will be issued with an SGQR code. With that, you can collect payment by pasting the QR sticker label at your retail stores or by sending your customers an invoice with the QR code. Customers can scan the QR code to pay you via PayNow. Customers can also pay you via your UEN.
Sign Up For PayNow
With many businesses and their staff working from home over the next few weeks, now is as good a time as any for businesses to consider adopting PayNow as a method to pay our receive payment. At the very least, it gives your customers the convenience of an additional payment option to choose from.
For some businesses, using PayNow to receive payment may even be the difference between having cash flow problems in the next few months (imagine if you still insist on cheque payments during this period) and being able to mitigate these cashflow problems by using PayNow.
This article was first published on 8 April 2020 and has been updated with additional information.
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