So, What’s The Difference Between PayNow And PayLah!?

Denise Bay

Denise Bay

Last updated 08 July, 2021

Both PayNow and PayLah! let you do funds transfer. The latter lets you do and enjoy more. Find out which one’s better for your needs.

While PayNow and PayLah! sound and seem pretty much like the same thing, nothing could be further from the truth. Both PayNow and PayLah! are enablers for those who embrace the cashless lifestyle. Gone are the days where a whole lot of work has to be done before you can transfer funds to someone else (think: adding a payee through the online banking app with a physical token in hand. 

If you haven’t tried PayNow or PayLah! yet, or if you’re simply curious about their differences, read on. We’ve taken the liberty to break down both PayNow and PayLah! for your easy reference.

What’s the difference between PayNow and PayLah!?

Type of serviceFunds transferMobile wallet
Available to whom? Bank of China, Citibank, DBS/POSB, HSBC, ICBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank, UOB customersSingaporeans and PRs
RecipientsPeers and participating merchantsPeers and participating merchants
Info requiredMobile no., NRIC/FIN no., or QR codeMobile no. or QR code 

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Like its name suggests, PayNow lets you pay or receive money on the spot without requiring anyone to jump through hoops. PayNow is an instant funds transfer service that’s available to registered users 24/7. This fuss-free service lets customers of participating banks send and receive money from one bank to another. 

The participating banks include: 

  • Bank of China
  • Citibank
  • HSBC
  • ICBC
  • Maybank
  • OCBC
  • Standard Chartered
  • UOB

It does not matter which bank your recipient or sender is banking with so long as it’s one of the participating ones listed above. You only need your recipient’s mobile number or NRIC/FIN number to execute the transfer. For payments to business entities, you’ll need their Company Unique Entity Number (UEN). 

Did you know you can even use PayNow at your convenience at participating hawker stalls these days? Also, if you have registered for PayNow using your NRIC and are eligible to receive the GST Voucher, the government will disburse the payment automatically to your PayNow-linked bank account. 


PayLah! is DBS’ lifestyle-oriented mobile wallet. Apart from letting you send, receive or even request money, PayLah! lets you store money, pay bills, shop, order food, book rides, tickets and shows as well. Those who yearn the thrill that comes with deals and discounts can count on PayLah! to deliver just that. 

That’s not all. PayLah! users can even use DBS banking services right from the app, such as checking card statements and applying for credit cards or instalment plans. Nestled conveniently within the PayLah! app, you can keep track of your card rewards and offset your credit card bills with DBS Points or Daily$ with just a couple of taps. 

Topping up your mobile wallet has never been easier — all you have to do is activate the auto debit feature via digibank. To pay for your purchases at participating merchants (think: hawker stalls, 7-11 outlets, Koufu and more), simply scan the NETS QR, FavePay QR, PayNow QR or SGQR (With PayLah! logo) at acceptance points.

Answers to questions you’d want to know about

Q1. Can I have PayLah! without a DBS/POSB deposit account?

Yes, if you’re a Singaporean or PR. You can sign up for PayLah! via MyInfo. However, topping up your PayLah! wallet can be quite a hassle. You’ll have to log in to your banking app or platform to send money via FAST transfer to your PayLah! registered phone number. 

Input the following details while you are at it: (i) Bank Name: DBS Bank Ltd; (ii) Account: 65XXXXXXXX, where XXXXXXXX refers to your PayLah! registered phone number

Q2. Can I PayLah! someone who’s only registered for PayNow?

Yes, PayLah! now supports PayNow. The funds will go to your recipient’s PayNow-linked bank account. The transaction will automatically be recorded as a PayNow transaction.  

Q3. Can I have both PayLah! & PayNow?

Sure. DBS/POSB users tend to just use PayLah! since it’s convenient and it works even if you’re sending funds to non-PayLah! users.

Q4. Can I PayLah! someone who hasn’t registered for either PayLah! or PayNow?

No, this is not possible. 

Q5. Can I link PayLah! to Google Pay? 

Yes. When you send money to your peers through Google Pay, take note the funds used will come from your PayLah! wallet once you’ve linked PayLah! to Google Pay. What’s in store for you? Exclusive partnership deals for PayLah!-Google Pay users, of course. 

To pay with Google Pay in-store or online, definitely link your go-to rewards credit card to maximise the cashback, miles or rewards points you can potentially earn on your transactions.

Q6. What happens if you PayNow someone with PayLah!?

The money will be sent to your recipient’s PayNow-linked bank account instead of their PayLah! wallet.

Q7. What should you do if you accidentally PayNow-ed or PayLah!-ed an unintended recipient? 

Contact the recipient and request to get your money back as soon as possible. Otherwise, contact your bank right away. Your bank will do its best to recover the funds on your behalf. The same applies if you’re the one receiving funds through an unintended or erroneous transfer. It is an offence to retain or use money that’s been erroneously sent to you. 

Which one is right for you?

Who can benefit most from using PayNow? 

You’ll appreciate PayNow’s simplicity and ease of use if all you want is a basic funds transfer service that’s integrated within your mobile banking app. There’s no need to download a separate app just to use PayNow. 

PayNow is sufficient for peer-to-peer transfers. It is also great for making payments to merchants that accept PayNow. The government also utilises PayNow to disburse funds. Anyone who banks with Bank of China, Citibank, DBS/ POSB, HSBC, ICBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank or UOB can use PayNow.  

Who can benefit most from using PayLah!?

Those who bank with DBS/POSB and hold DBS/POSB cards stand to benefit most from using PayLah! thanks to the thoughtfully integrated ecosystem. Along with UX/UI that offers PayLah! users something very intuitive — even more so than the DBS Digibank app —, discounts, deals and promotions are always a good idea. 

Google Pay users also enjoy PayLah! as they can link their PayLah! wallet and perform funds transfers to virtually anyone regardless of whether their recipient is a PayLah! user or not, all while separating their funds in a hassle-free manner. In essence, PayLah! lets you PayNow your recipients. 

How to register for PayNow/ PayLah!?

Step 1Log in to your bank’s internet banking platform or mobile banking appDownload the PayLah! app
Step 2Look for the PayNow option under the ‘payment and transfer’ or ‘more services’ tabLink your DBS/POSB digibank account if you are an existing DBS/POSB user

Sign up via MyInfo if you’re a non-DBS/POSB user
Step 3 Link your mobile no. and/or NRIC/FIN to your preferred bank account at the PayNow registration pageFollow the instructions and pick a password for your PayLah! mobile wallet 
Step 4Follow the instructions and pick your PayNow nameNA

EDM Lead Gen

Start managing and saving money like a pro with SingSaver’s weekly financial roundups! We dole out easy-to-follow money-saving tips, the latest financial trends and the hottest promotions every week, right into your inbox. This is one mailer you don’t want to miss.

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Read these next:
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Best DBS/POSB Credit Cards In Singapore (2021)
DBS/POSB Credit Card Promotions and Deals

While Denise has a thing for travel, K-dramas, 0% sugar bbt (with boba!), Japanese cuisine and flat white, her curious nature means all sorts of random tabs are open on her phone 24/7. She doesn’t like to pay full price for anything, too.


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