The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today (November 30th) that eligible non-bank financial institutions (NFIs) will be allowed to connect directly to the money transfer services PayNow and Fast (Fast And Secure Transfers).
These NFIs include the Grab Financial Group, which operates GrabPay. Razer Fintech, the financial technology arm of the gaming company Razer; and Singtel's e-wallet Dash.
Starting February 2021, users of these NFI wallets will be able to make real-time money 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 with debit or credit cards, and money transfers between e-wallets are not possible.
What does this step mean for us?
MAS CEO Ravi Menon said the move will help close the "last mile in Singapore's e-payment journey".
“Consumers who may not have direct access to debit or credit cards to fund their e-wallets can now do so directly from their bank accounts. … The introduction of e-payments will be even easier for individuals and companies. "
This step also benefits the dealers.
Companies that are partners of one of the 23 Fast or nine PayNow banks or e-wallets, which are traditionally a closed ecosystem, will soon be able to receive real-time payments from other users of e-wallets or mobile banking apps who will join FAST or PayNow.
"This gives companies access to a larger consumer market than before to receive e-payments instantly and seamlessly," said MAS.
In a Facebook post, Minister Vivian Balakrishnan sees the move as "another big boost for our e-payment systems in Singapore".
"This means more convenience for all of us as e-wallets and bank accounts are more compatible with each other using APIs," he added.
Selected image source: Vulcan Post