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OCBC Bank partners with Google to enable enhanced digital payments leveraging PayNow in Singapore

OCBC Bank partners with Google to enable enhanced digital payments leveraging PayNow in Singapore

  • 11 Nov 2019

Singapore, 11 November 2019 – OCBC Bank has entered into a partnership with Google to bring a refreshed Google Pay app to Singapore in January 2020. The partnership will enable OCBC Bank customers to be the first in Singapore to make account-to-account PayNow fund transfers using the enhanced features of Google Pay. The service is currently in beta-testing phase and select OCBC Bank customers will be able to link their bank accounts to make digital payments.

Mr Ching Wei Hong, Chief Operating Officer at OCBC Bank, said: “The potential of Google Pay leveraging PayNow is tremendous and will provide our customers the benefits of secure, seamless and ubiquitous payments without having a wallet. Both OCBC and Google share the same customer-centric approach to enabling seamless digital payments – an open-loop payments ecosystem. When it launches here, Google Pay will offer our customers a unique proposition for making payments that is frictionless and requires no extra hoops for customers to jump through to access their bank account funds.”

He added: “Our team worked very closely with Google to custom build the PayNow connectivity for the Google Pay app, and we have already launched a private beta and fired the first live transactions last week. From January 2020, our customers will be the first in Singapore to be able to link their bank accounts to Google Pay to make digital payments. In today’s digital world, building ecosystems of partnerships and going beyond traditional banking products is critical. This is a bold move which I believe will have great impact and bring significant scale to PayNow by expanding payment journeys for consumers.”

Mr Caesar Sengupta, Vice President of Payments and the Next Billion Users initiatives at Google, said: “We partnered with OCBC to provide a product that gives an optimal payments experience to customers and users. The first PayNow transaction we tested on Google Pay was $8.88 – a success of our close partnership. OCBC has proven to be a valuable partner providing us with insights and expertise on payments, leveraging the national payment rails in Singapore.”

Google Pay is Google’s payments app that aims to make money simpler, more secure, and more helpful while it helps customers shop online, pay neighbourhood shops, or send money to friends right from their bank account. Users of the app can also earn rewards, which goes directly into the app user’s bank account.

Singapore is the second country to launch the enhanced version of Google Pay after it was introduced in India in 2017. Google Pay significantly increased the adoption of India’s inter-bank payments system, United Payments Interface (UPI). UPI is similar to Singapore’s peer-to-peer transfer service, PayNow.

Access for OCBC Bank customers

OCBC Bank customers can now sign up at the OCBC Bank booth at the Singapore Fintech Festival to be waitlisted ahead of the open-beta of Google Pay in Singapore in January 2020.

In January 2020, when Google Pay is available in open-beta, OCBC Bank customers will be the first to be able to link their bank accounts as a payment method on Google Pay to make peer-to-peer funds transfers via PayNow after downloading the app. This is in addition to provisioning credit cards on the app to make online and in-store payments.

Adoption of PayNow to be bolstered by Google Pay

PayNow enables seamless digital payments directly between customers’ bank accounts. Figures from the Association of Banks in Singapore indicate 28 million PayNow transactions worth $4.6 billion took place in the first half of this year. The Singapore government has urged Singaporeans to go bigger on e-payments in a National Day Rally speech in 2017, the year PayNow was launched in Singapore, which enabled people to make funds transfers using recipient’s mobile numbers.

With Google Pay being enabled across both iOS and Android devices, the launch of Google Pay and its PayNow integration will significantly impact the adoption and usage of PayNow in Singapore.


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Bernadette Yuen