The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Monday that eligible non-bank financial institutions will be allowed to connect directly to the retail payment services PayNow and FAST (Fast And Secure Transfers).
The institutions include Grab Financial Group, which operates GrabPay, Razer Fintech, and Singtel’s e-wallet Dash. Starting from February 2021, users of these wallets will be able to make real-time fund transfers between their bank accounts and e-wallets, as well as between different e-wallets. Currently, most e-wallets require users to top up their funds using debit or credit cards, and funds transfers between e-wallets are not possible.
MAS managing director Ravi Menon said this move helps to close the “last-mile gap in Singapore’s e-payments journey.” “Consumers who may not have ready access to debit or credit cards to fund their e-wallets will now have the option to do so directly through their bank accounts,” he said.
Breaking up the closed system
The move will also benefit merchants. Businesses that partner any of the 23 FAST or nine PayNow banks, or e-wallets that have traditionally been closed-loop ecosystems will soon be able to receive real-time payments from other users of e-wallets or mobile banking apps that will be joining FAST or PayNow.
“This will enable businesses to access a larger market of consumers than before for receiving e-payments instantly and seamlessly,” said the MAS.
In a Facebook post, Minister Vivian Balakrishnan deems the move as “another big boost for our e-payment systems in Singapore.” “This means greater convenience for us all as e-wallets and bank account become more inter-operable using APIs,” he added.
This article was originally published by Vulcan Post.