Singapore treads on the path to cashless society

As Singapore moves towards a cashless society, some of the prestigious banks including OCBC Bank and DBS Bank have included QR code payment allowing consumers to use this cashless mode of payment at retail outlets in the island country.

OCBC Bank has launched Pay Anyone app which allows consumers to make cashless payment through QR code.
OCBC Bank has launched Pay Anyone app which allows consumers to make cashless payments through QR code. Photo courtesy: OCBC Bank

Making this announcement, OCBC Bank said, “We have launched first standalone mobile payments app which makes QR code cashless payments available at close to 2,500 NETS terminals.”

OCBC Pay Anyone app allows consumers to use the cashless mode of payment at more than 1000 merchants from June 1. The participating merchants range from Robinsons to Zara, Marks & Spencer to Caltex petrol stations and Gardens by the Bay.

In this mode of cashless payment, consumers can either scan the QR code off the merchant’s NETS terminal or the hardcopy receipt using the app, and authenticate the transaction with their fingerprint, after which the amount is deducted off the person’s bank account, OCBC said, adding this is unlike mobile wallets which require an additional step of topping up.

Pranav Seth
Pranav Seth, Head of E-Business, OCBC Bank. Photo courtesy: Linkedin

Pranav Seth, OCBC Bank’s Head of E-Business, Business Transformation and Fintech and Innovation Group, said “It’s a war on cash! OCBC Pay Anyone has been a favourite payment service among our customers, who have embraced the movement away from cash and increasingly adopted paying other individuals using just phone numbers. OCBC Pay Anyone payment volumes have increased 10 times since May last year. We decided to consolidate all of our OCBC Pay Anyone payment services into a standalone mobile app to bring greater convenience to our customers.”

Meanwhile, DBS Bank has also announced through a separate press release that it launched its Smart Nation Ambassador Programme (SNAP) on May 5, which saw its ambassadors approaching small, cash-based merchants such as hawker stalls and wet market vendors to adopt its DBS PayLah! QR codes as a payment method. 

There has been an upsurge in cashless payments in Singapore when Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Programme Office, made comments on the topic in March this year. He said in Parliament then that there are many modes of payment today, including cashless ones, but there is a need to streamline this.