Almost instantaneous fund transfe with start of electronic inter-bank service

SINGAPORE — A new electronic interbank service allowing almost-instant fund transfers by individuals and businesses will be available from next week, announced the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) today (March 10).

Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST) will be launched on March 17, said ABS. Last month, it estimated that FAST would be made available by June. The service, accessible on Internet and mobile banking platforms 24/7, allows customers to transfer up to S$10,000 a transaction between banks in minutes, shortening a process that can at times take up to three days. Several banks, such as OCBC, are also making it available at their ATMs. Only Singapore Dollar transactions are allowed.

Participating banks, including the three local banks and most major international banks based here, said the convenience FAST provides is vital as demand for electronic payments and transfers continues to grow. A total of 14 banks are offering the service.

“Fund transfers via our retail and corporate Internet banking platforms grew by more than 13 per cent from S$396 billion in 2012 to S$450 billion last year. We expect this to continue to grow,” said Head of DBS Singapore Sim Seng Lim.

The charges and conditions for the service differ among the 14 banks. Retail customers at DBS, OCBC and UOB would not be charged for using the service, said the three banks. For corporate customers, OCBC and UOB plan to charge S$5 a transaction after a limited period of complimentary service, while DBS said it would offer preferential rates to businesses.

Foreign banks, such as Maybank, HSBC and RHB, are offering the service for free to retail customers. Maybank’s corporate clients will be charged S$0.20 a transaction.

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