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PayNow Lets You Send Cash with Just a Mobile or IC Number

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 29 June, 2017

PayNow promises to make interbank transfers faster and easier for Singaporeans. But how is this different from mobile wallets and internet banking?

PayNow, a soon-to-be-launched cashless payment system, promises to give Singaporeans a faster and easier way to carry out funds transfers.

Beginning 8 am on 10 July 2017, customers of 7 banks - Citibank, DBS/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered and UOB - can use PayNow to send and receive money with just your mobile number or NRIC number.

But, with digital wallets, internet banking and many other options already available, do we really need another new system? What’s are the advantages and risks of PayNow? And who are likely benefit from it?

To help answer these questions and more, we’ve put together the following FAQ.

What Is PayNow And How Does It Work?

PayNow is a new peer-to-peer funds transfer service that allows you to send and receive money directly to and from your bank account, using only your mobile phone and NRIC number.

To send or receive money, you first have to set up your PayNow account. To do so, log into your Internet Banking or mobile banking app, and link your mobile number and/or NRIC number. This needs to be performed only once.

Once you’ve set up your PayNow account, you will automatically receive any funds sent your way.

To send funds using PayNow, simply log into your Internet Banking or mobile banking app, choose PayNow, enter the recipient’s mobile or NRIC number, verify the name and amount, and you’re done.

Is PayNow A Digital Wallet?

No. PayNow is a bank transfer service. It allows the funds to be retrieved from your bank account, and sent directly to the recipient's bank account.

Unlike a digital wallet, there's no need for you to deposit money into a separate account. Any funds received are also deposited directly into your bank account.

Are There Any Charges For Using PayNow?

No charges have been announced for the time being.

Why Should I Use PayNow?

The main advantage is convenience.

With PayNow, you may send funds without knowing the recipient’s account number. All you need is their mobile number or NRIC number. The same goes for anyone who needs to send money to you.

As most of us have the mobile numbers of our friends, families and colleagues (aka, the people we are most likely to send money to), PayNow represents a much faster and more convenient option for funds transfer. 

Further bolstering the service’s convenience is its 24/7 availability, and almost instant transfer of funds.

What are the Risks of Using PayNow?

Because this is a self-service model, there’s a chance you may send the funds to the wrong person. As such, you will have to be extra careful in verifying that you are sending funds to the right recipient.

If you happen to make a transfer in error, you are advised to call the other party immediately and request a transfer back. This also means there are currently no options to reverse the funds transfer yourself.

Should your request for your money’s return go ignored or is refused, you are advised to call your bank for assistance.

Can I Use PayNow to Pay Merchants?

PayNow can be used to pay anyone as long as they have a bank account with one of the 7 aforementioned banks, and have linked their mobile and/or NRIC numbers.

The service could prove to be very useful for freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners (think tutors, personal coaches, graphic designers, contractors, etc), as well as for those who regularly use their services.

Can I Transfer Foreign Currency Using PayNow?

For now, you can only use this service to transfer Singapore Dollars.

Read This Next:

Why Going Cashless Makes You Spend More

How Do Banks "Create" Money?

Alevin ChanBy Alevin Chan

A Certified Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin's mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He's also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.


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