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New paperless eGiro service to cut processing time from weeks to minutes

SINGAPORE — Setting up and terminating recurring Giro payments may soon take just minutes through a new nationwide eGiro service launched on Monday (Nov 8), down from weeks under the present paper-based process.

New paperless eGiro service to cut processing time from weeks to minutes

The move towards fully digitising the Giro system is part of Singapore's transition to a cashless society.

  • Starting Nov 8, a new eGiro digital service will be offered progressively by eight major banks and 13 billers
  • Users may set up eGiro payment instructions with a participating biller after the biller has put up eGiro on its online platform or mobile app
  • The new paperless service will cut down processing times from an average of three weeks to “mere minutes”

 

SINGAPORE — Setting up and terminating recurring Giro payments may soon take just minutes through a new nationwide eGiro service launched on Monday (Nov 8), down from weeks under the present paper-based process.

Starting Monday, the new eGiro digital service will be offered progressively by eight major banks including DBS, OCBC and UOB.

Thirteen billing organisations will also be brought on board in this first phase, including the Central Provident Fund Board, investment platform iFast, insurance firm FWD insurance and Diner’s Club credit cards.

Introduced in 1984, Giro, or General Interbank Recurring Order, is widely used in Singapore to automate electronic payments of recurring monthly bills such as school fees, credit card and mobile phone bills.

Some one million Giro applications are processed a year on average.

However, setting up a Giro arrangement involves filling up an application form that has to be mailed to a biller.

Between the billing organisations manually processing forms and banks having to verify account details, these applications take an average of three weeks to process.

Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, director of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), said the new eGiro service will cut processing time to “mere minutes” for a consumer.

She added that eGiro will also reduce paper use and minimise human errors that occur in the current manual process.

For corporate transfers where an approver is required, the process would take less than 48 hours.

Users who wish to set up an eGiro payment instruction with any of the 13 billing organisations may do so only after the biller implements the eGiro payment option on its online platform or application.

If the setup is successful, users will receive a confirmation via their bank’s internet banking portal or mobile app.

Like regular Giro arrangements, creating an eGiro instruction will remain free of charge for consumers.

Existing Giro instructions and the paper-based application process will continue to be supported and will not be migrated to eGiro, ABS said.

The eGiro service was jointly launched by ABS and the participating banks with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Mrs Ong-Ang said that over the years, the association received many letters from customers requesting a faster Giro application process.

The banking industry had tried to digitise the application process four years ago, she told a media briefing on Monday. “But technology did not, at that point in time, permit such a possibility,” she said.

ABS and the participating banks are working with the industry to bring more banks and billers, including schools, on board the eGiro service although ABS did not provide a timeline.

Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS, said that eGiro paves a way for the industry to explore innovative payment models such as automatic e-wallet top-ups. Already, two e-wallet providers, GrabPay and Singtel Dash, have been brought onto the first phase of the eGiro roll out and will soon be offering this payment mode for its customers.

The eGiro platform was designed and implemented by Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia, and will be operated by Banking Computer Service, a subsidiary of payment services firm NETS.

In a speech at the Singapore Fintech Festival earlier on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the eGiro service is a step in the right direction to shorten processing times and improve user experience.

“I encourage more organisations here to be part of eGiro,” he said.

Among the billing organisations that have already implemented eGiro services for its customers is Singapore E-Business (SGeBIZ), a payment aggregator for businesses.

The firm said in a separate statement on Monday: “SGeBIZ’s EzyPayment eGiro platform will enable its customers to reduce costs, gain greater operational efficiency, streamline workflow as well as improve liquidity and cash flows.”

Related topics

Giro MAS DBS OCBC UOB cashless payment bills

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