Business

More businesses joining PayNow Corporate

31,000 firms sign up for PayNow Corporate

Just three days after launching PayNow Corporate - a new method of transaction to aid cashless payments between businesses - figures from the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) show 31,089 firms signed up by last Wednesday for the service using their Unique Entity Number (UEN).

The UEN is the standard identification number of an entity, like the NRIC for Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

PayNow Corporate is an extension of the peer-to-peer funds transfer service PayNow, which was introduced in July last year.

Starting last Monday, firms could also tap this service which allows them to send money to other businesses, or to transact with individual clients.

To use PayNow Corporate, a user simply keys in the firm's UEN or scans a QR code. The funds transfer is instantaneous, cutting down time needed to wait for credit card transfers and cheque or Giro processing.

Mr Adrian Ong, managing director and head of cash management sales in group transaction banking of United Overseas Bank (UOB), said: "We received a strong response from our clients during PayNow Corporate pre-registration.

"In the first two days of the launch alone, we saw a 20 per cent increase in registrations, from those by small and medium-sized enterprises to large corporates. They include businesses in the retail and food and beverage sectors and public entities such as town councils."

Mr Melvyn Low, head of global transaction banking at OCBC Bank, said it has received registrations that number in the "tens of thousands", mainly from firms in the wholesale and retail sectors.

Firms said the convenience and ease of transaction is what attracted them to sign up.

Mr Gavin Teo, managing director of beauty salon chain Avone Beauty Secrets, said: "Mobile payment is a worldwide trend and it is something our customers will soon demand. It's about the convenience and if we don't adapt, we will be left behind."

While PayNow transactions will also carry a fee - which has not been disclosed yet - Mr Teo expects this to be less than the charge of using credit cards.

Banks are also offering a fee waiver till the end of the year to encourage more sign-ups for PayNow Corporate.

But he also said that staff will have to be retrained to deal with this new form of payment.

Mr Ryan Chioh, managing director of FarEastFlora.com, said PayNow Corporate reduces the hassle of paper records and allows for better cash management and productivity.

Mr Tang Kwang Boon, director of finance and corporate services at the Singapore Land Authority, said: "SLA is happy to be one of the early adopters of PayNow Corporate to support our nation's drive towards a smart cashless society."

BUSINESS & FINANCE