Singapore Set to reduce Cash, Checks on Approach to Digital Economy

 Singapore Set to reduce Cash, Checks on Approach to Digital Economy

(Bloomberg) — Singapore set targets to reduce cash and view usage mainly because it prepares to enable companies to apply its digital payments service inside of a move towards are just looking for economy.

Checks will no longer have use by 2025 while cash withdrawals from automatic telling machines arrive down significantly, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who sits to the Monetary Authority of Singapore board, said inside of a speech Wednesday along at the annual Association of Banks dinner inside city-state. The government-backed payments platform, called PayNow, will be readily available for companies starting Aug. 13.

Singapore has embraced technology to minimize cash usage and promote searching for economy. Today, there are many more than 1.4 million PayNow registrations, and nearly $900 million are actually transferred via PayNow since its launch in 2009, Ong said. Both local and international firms including DBS Group Holding Ltd. and Grab Inc. will also be vying to offer digital payment choices to residents and tourists in Singapore.

“The objective isn’t to make a cashless society, but allow everyone have fun with the benefit and efficiency of e-payments — simple, swift, safe and seamless,” Ong said. “Once the level of convenience and confidence crosses a critical tipping point, adoption will rise across the human population inside a small amount of time and be pervasive.”

READ: Singapore unveiled initiatives to push for financial technology

Both check usage and ATM withdrawals have been declining, Ong said. The share of checks as a proportion of payments using some other styles of electronic payments known as FAST and GIRO was about 28 percent in 2019, down from 37 percent in 2019. That may come down to 15 percent in 2020, in accordance with Ong.

“Sweden do it. You can too,” Ong said, referring to to become check-free society.

Corporate clients of seven banks can transfer funds via PayNow in Singapore. They are DBS, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., United Overseas Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA), Malayan Banking Bhd, and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), using the association.

Ong also said while Singapore is encouraging competition among digital payment service-providers to present consumers choices, it will also ensure the various systems can inter-operate using a plan called SG QR, that’s being implemented later this season.

In China, Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings have vast online payments businesses because they control 92 percent from the market.

“Our goal is always to support several different payment solutions that are competing yet inter-operable and convenient, providing replacement for consumers and inspiring innovation,” Ong said. “That is the key principle in this approach to e-payment.”


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