LifeSG App Had Close to a Million Transactions Valued at S$41 Million Since Nov 2021by Fintech News Singapore August 16, 2022
Close to 900,000 transactions, totaling over S$41 million, have been made through GovWallet on the LifeSG mobile application since the launch of the jointly developed digital payment service in November 2021 as Singapore aims to go cheque-free by 2025.
LifeSG (formerly Moments of Life) is one of the Strategic National Projects under Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
Singaporeans and its permanent residents can receive government payments via the app, instead of cheques and paper vouchers.
Depending on the scheme they are eligible for, users can either transfer the government payments to PayNow NRIC-linked bank accounts, or spend them at merchants that accept payment by ‘Scan and Pay’ via PayNow UEN or NETS QR.
GovTech and OCBC Bank jointly developed the digital payment service by leveraging the bank’s Application Programming Interface and the agency’s GovWallet solution for individuals.
This service is not restricted to OCBC Bank customers. It is available to all recipients of government payments.
Three government agencies – the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and CPF Board (CPFB) – have since adopted this service to administer their payment schemes without cheques and paper vouchers.
The payment service will also be used for the disbursement of GST Vouchers in August.
Prior to the adoption of this payment service, the three agencies had issued close to 600,000 cheques and paper vouchers in 2021.
As the digital payment service uses the PayNow and NETS infrastructure, merchants that already accept these payments need not perform additional sign-ups. Currently, there are more than 164,000 and 43,000 merchants registered with PayNow and NETS respectively.
Recipients can easily monitor the balance amounts of their government payments and transaction histories on the LifeSG app.
They have the flexibility to spend any amount within the limit of their disbursements instead of having to spend a minimum sum at a time, which was a limitation of paper vouchers.
GovTech and OCBC Bank said that they expect more government agencies to adopt this digital payment service in the coming months, with the number of transactions projected to cross 1 million in the first year.
This is OCBC Bank’s latest initiative to support the public sector in its mission to serve citizens and businesses better via technology.
Earlier this year, the bank supported CPFB to launch its GovCash cheque replacement service, which enables Singaporeans who are unable to use direct bank crediting to receive government payments via facial recognition at its ATMs without needing to have an OCBC bank account.
Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank said,
“It has been an exciting journey working with the team at GovTech as we digitalise the usage of government pay-outs. This collaboration is only made possible because of the forward-looking stance of GovTech and OCBC’s technology investments over the years.
The increasing QR code payment adoption by merchants and consumers in Singapore because of the Covid-19 pandemic was also a key contributing factor.”
Gabriyel Wong, Director, Moments of Life, GovTech said,
“With GovWallet powering our ‘Benefits and support’ feature, LifeSG users can enjoy a seamless experience when it comes to spending and tracking their government pay-outs easily with the merchants they love.
We welcome public agencies to join our LifeSG platform and tap into the personalised services to provide greater convenience to our citizens.”