Singapore’s ambition to go cheque-free by 2025 took one step forward with a digital collaboration between GovTech, the government technology agency that drives the public services’ digital transformation, and OCBC Bank.
Close to 900,000 transactions, totalling over $41 million, have been made through GovWallet on the LifeSG mobile application (app) since the launch of the jointly developed digital payment service on the app in November 2021. Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents can receive government payments via the app, instead of cheques and paper vouchers. Depending on the scheme they are eligible for, users can either transfer the government payments to PayNow NRIC-linked bank accounts, or spend them at merchants that accept payment by ‘Scan and Pay’ via PayNow UEN or NETS QR.
GovTech and OCBC Bank jointly developed the digital payment service by leveraging the Bank’s Application Programming Interface and the agency’s GovWallet solution for individuals. This service is not restricted to OCBC Bank customers. It is available to all recipients of government payments.
Three government agencies – the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and CPF Board (CPFB) – have since adopted this service to administer their payment schemes without cheques and paper vouchers: MINDEF’s and MHA’s National Service (NS) recognition awards and the NS55 Recognition Package in commemoration of 55 years of National Service, as well as CPFB’s Workfare Income Supplement scheme. The payment service will also be used for the disbursement of GST Vouchers in August.
Prior to the adoption of this payment service, the three agencies had issued close to 600,000 cheques and paper vouchers in 2021.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker