As of Monday, Singapore has gone live with PayNow Corporate, which is an extension of the P2P transfer system PayNow launched in 2017 amongst the participating banks using the FAST rails in Singapore. These include Citibank, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank (UOB). PayNow is quite similar to the Zelle real time transfer system launched in the U.S. last year and gaining much wider recent adoption.
PayNow Corporate will enable businesses/corporates and the Singapore Government to pay and receive Singapore Dollar funds instantaneously with the linking of the Unique Entity Number (UEN) to their Singapore bank account. This will do away with the need to know the bank and account number of the businesses and corporates when transferring funds. The launch of PayNow Corporate follows from last year’s successful launch of PayNow and is part of Singapore’s Smart Nation drive to adopt digital payments.
The posting appears in Asian Banker but does not have any detail as to whether the corporate version can be utilized as a true B2B system with remittance data. It does not appear so but one would assume that may come later. So if one compares this to the recent announcement by U.S. Bank and Supplier Prefer pay to utilize Zelle rails as a disbursements product, they seem different.
Simultaneously when PayNow Corporate is implemented, it will be part of the Singapore Quick Response (SG QR) Code. This will enable retail, businesses and corporates to make instant PayNow transfers by scanning the merchant’s or individual’s QR via their bank’s mobile banking app. Customers will need to update their bank’s app to avail of this function, which is available on both Apple iOS and Android smartphones.
As we get more details, we’ll post them.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group