This article was first published on 8 April 2020 and has been updated with additional information following PayNow’s linkage to Thailand’s PromptPay.
PayNow is a peer-to-peer fund transfer service launched by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and available to all consumers of nine participating banks and three non-financial institutions in Singapore.
These banks are Bank of China, Citibank, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB. The non-financial institutions are GrabPay, LiquidPay and Singtel Dash
Since its launch on 10 July 2017, PayNow has been widely adopted in Singapore, with more than 65% of Singaporeans aged between 20 and 75 having already registered for it as of September 2019. This number is likely to be higher today.
PayNow Is Linked To Thailand’s PromptPay
On 29 April 2021, MAS also 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 the banks daily.
This will solve long-standing pain points in cross-border money transfers and remittance. 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?
However, unknown to many, including some business owners, PayNow is also available to businesses. PayNow for businesses, or PayNow Corporate, enables companies in Singapore to pay and receive Singapore dollar funds instantly by tagging on to the existing PayNow network, which already has more than 2.8 million users in Singapore.
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.
#1 Convenient & Contactless
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, contactless solutions are the talk of the town. We want contactless food delivery and contactless meetings. So why not contactless payment as well?
PayNow helps facilitate this. Through PayNow, 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 during this period when we are all encouraged to avoid physical contact to reduce transmission.
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.
As written in a previous article, 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, it’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. Whichever bank that you are using for your business account is the bank that you can sign up for PayNow through. 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 Unique Entity Number (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.
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.
Registration for PayNow is free.
Need Financing Support During This Period?
From now till 31 July 2021, SMEs can enjoy extra financing support of up to $3 million through the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and enjoy 50% off your facility fee when you apply online with OCBC. Terms and conditions apply.
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