OCBC Bank and CPF Board's PayNow collaboration off to a strong start
Think older Singaporeans will never embrace e-payments? Well, think again.
To be exact, think of funds transfer service PayNow.
Since eligible CPF members aged 55 and above gained the option of withdrawing their CPF savings via PayNow, take-up has been strong. By 30 June 2018 – just over three months after the option became available on 26 March – some 4,000 withdrawals, totalling over $40 million, had been made through this payment method.
The CPF Board became the first government agency to adopt PayNow by leveraging OCBC Bank’s Application Programming Interface (API).
Eligible members simply need to link their Singapore NRIC to bank accounts from any of the nine PayNow participating banks. They can then log in to my cpf Online Services using their SingPass and submit a withdrawal application. The money will be deposited in their bank account within a day, compared to the previous turnaround time of five working days via GIRO.
Said Mr. Bernard Liew, who had previously never used PayNow for a transaction: "I got the money in my bank account pretty much instantly after submitting my withdrawal request to CPF. For people who may need the money urgently, this would be very useful."
There had been concern over whether the silver segment could adapt smoothly to a cashless and increasingly digital society. Initiatives like the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) e-Payment learning Journey, an experiential tour that aims to empower seniors to carry out mobile transactions, have been rolled out to tackle this issue.
Against this backdrop, their willingness to use PayNow as a funds transfer mode for CPF savings is especially encouraging.
Said Mr Wong Yan Jun, Chief Digital Services Officer, CPF Board: "CPF Board strives to leverage technology to serve our CPF members better. By adopting PayNow as a new additional payment mode, eligible members who are 55 and above can withdraw their CPF savings in an easy and expeditious way. Through this initiative, we hope to provide members with a more customer-centric experience when they transact with us."
PayNow will be extended to businesses in August 2018 with the launch of PayNow Corporate. This is the next milestone in Singapore’s e-payments push.
Said Mr Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank: "This is the first time that PayNow has been used for on-demand payment by a government agency. Its success bodes well for the imminent roll out of PayNow Corporate and for Singapore’s ambitions of going cheque-free by 2025. Over the next three years, we hope to see a 40 per cent drop in corporate cheque payments by our business banking customers."
OCBC Bank’s API Journey
This collaboration with CPF Board was facilitated by OCBC Bank’s transactional API.
OCBC was the first bank in Southeast Asia to launch an open API platform, in May 2016. To date, more than 80 APIs developed by an in-house team are housed on an open API platform, Connect2OCBC.
In September 2017, OCBC Bank became the first bank to roll out a transactional GIRO API that allows a GIRO facility to be set up instantly when integrated with a third-party website or app. IRAS was the first to use this, and in November 2017, OCBC customers became the first in Singapore to be able to instantly set up a GIRO facility for tax payment via IRAS’ myTax Portal.