Push for SMEs to increase e-payment adoption


TO encourage more small business owners to make payments on the go, OCBC Bank is reducing its charges for FAST (Fast And Secure Transfers) payments to a promotional fee of S$0.20 per transaction from now to Dec 31, 2018.

This will be the lowest fee in the industry, OCBC said in a press release.

Currently, the charge per FAST transaction for OCBC business banking customers is S$5 per transaction.

The standard fee for FAST payments will be S$0.50 per transaction from Jan 1 next year, OCBC said.

Users can execute FAST payments on OCBC's corporate Internet banking portal, Velocity@ocbc, or via the OCBC Business Mobile Banking app.

The bank hopes to get more firms, especially the smaller ones, to hop on the e-payment bandwagon and eventually reduce their reliance on cheques.

OCBC Bank hopes to see a 40 per cent drop in corporate cheque payments over the next three years, it added.

Gregory Trotter, OCBC Bank's head of cash management, global transaction banking, said: "Most SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are still using cheques, but the e-payments push is gathering momentum. More of them are recognising the benefits of adopting e-payments and understand that they do make a difference to the business."

He added: "FAST, for one, is quicker and more convenient than GIRO, MEPS, cash or cheques, and less uncertain too - instantaneous notifications help track the success of funds transfers ... this FAST promotion will incentivise businesses to hasten the adoption of cashless solutions."

Ruy Teoh, operations manager of All-Wares Supply, said in OCBC's press release: "It is almost impossible not to adopt e-payments in this day and age. Most people are already paying personal bills and purchases electronically so it is inevitable that businesses will start adopting e-payments for B2B (business-to-business) transactions.

"My company has started making payments to our suppliers via Internet banking and mobile banking which really saves a lot of time. In times when we forget a payment, we can make a FAST payment immediately."