FOMO Pay-OCBC Partnership Latest in Singapore’s Push for Digital Banking

digital banking

QR code payment collection is set to take off in Singapore through new partnership

Singapore-based fintech startup FOMO Pay, which provides digital payments and banking solutions, announced in a statement today that it has partnered with OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad to develop the bank’s mobile app OneCollect as its first merchant cross-border Quick Response (QR) code collection service.

Initiated in February this year, account holders of Singapore’s PayNow participating banks can directly make Singapore Dollar payments to Malaysian merchants through OCBC OneCollect’s QR code payment service, the statement said.

The participating banks are OCBC Bank, Bank of China, Citibank Singapore Limited, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Maybank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank.

“Singapore buyers can expect currency conversion rates as good as money changer’s or better when making purchases at OCBC merchants with their PayNow. In addition, our customers – the merchants – need not have a foreign currency account; they can expect to receive their collections in Ringgit,” OCBC Bank’s Managing Director & Head of Global Transaction Banking, Chong Lee Ying said in the statement.

Prior to this development, only Ringgit transactions were supported by QR code payments in Malaysia, it added.

Along with mentioning that OCBC would not be charging fees for the service this year, she added that the service would be available to select clients in Melaka and Johor, and that it would be expanded in the second quarter of the year.

Recently, FOMO Pay also opened a new office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in a strategic move towards expansion in ASEAN countries and other emerging markets seeing rapid digitalization, the statement said.

FOMO Pay has worked with over 10,000 enterprise customers, the statement noted. It is also a founding member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s SGQR taskforce, tasked with developing a common QR Code standard for Singapore.

Digital banking has seen a spike in Singapore owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. DBS saw a SG$8 billion (US$5.6 billion) increase in the value of digital transactions within the first three months of this year, and additionally expects that a million of its customers will go “fully digital” by the end of the year, The Business Times reported. Additionally, nearly 65% of Singapore residents would consider dealing with a completely digital bank.

MAS is also setting up a Digital Acceleration Grant to power digitalization in smaller financial and fintech institutions in light of the pandemic.

It is not just the pandemic that is fuelling this growth. Singapore has positioned itself as a progressive and tech-friendly country, with several initiatives focused on emerging technologies.

The SGQR taskforce is just one example of the proactive Singapore attitude. Earlier last year, MAS announced that it would be awarding five digital banking licenses to non-bank players, in a bid to make the banking sector more competitive. It is currently reviewing 21 applications that it has received for this purpose.

The sector is set for growth, with one in five adults currently having an account with a digital bank. However, when compared to other countries, Singapore’s rate of adoption is projected to be slower than that of other Asia Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, and India.

In a market ripe with opportunity but with some conservative restraints, banking and non-banking fintech firms will be able to capture a significant slice of the pie if they play their strategies right.

Header image courtesy of OCBC

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