Three non-bank e-wallet players to offer PayNow, Banking & Finance

Mon, Feb 08, 2021 – 12:50 PM

E-WALLET players Grab Financial Group, Liquid Group and Singtel Dash will now also offer PayNow services – marking the first time the peer-to-peer fund transfer service is made available to non-banks.

A new PayNow proxy called the Virtual Payment Address (VPA) has been created to facilitate fund transfer between bank accounts and these e-wallets, as well as across the e-wallets. This new proxy allows individuals to link their mobile number with an e-wallet offered by non-bank financial institutions (NFIs), while keeping their existing PayNow registration that is linked to a bank account.

VPAs will be created using the users’ mobile numbers and the type of e-wallet.

Later on in 2021, users will also be able to use these NFI e-wallets to make payments to merchants by scanning their PayNow-SGQR labels, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) said in a media announcement on Monday.

“This is the first time PayNow has been made available to non-banks. The welcomed addition of the three NFIs will boost the adoption and usage of PayNow and accelerate Singapore’s path towards a less-cash, digital economy,” the ABS said.

Managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Ravi Menon first said in December last year that NFIs will, from this month, have direct access to the banking system’s real-time retail payments infrastructure.

This levels the playing field for non-bank e-wallet players that meet the necessary risk-management standards to secure network access, he had told The Business Times.

He said then that Singapore will open up its payment rails to eight NFIs from February this year.

The addition of the three NFIs on Monday brings the total number of institutions offering PayNow to 12 – nine of which are banks.

As at Jan 24, 2021, the total number of PayNow registrations is close to five million, the ABS said.

More than S$50 billion has been transacted using PayNow since its launch in July 2017, with monthly transaction values crossing S$5.08 billion in December 2020.


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