Methods of Making Payment

Methods of Making Payment in Singapore

As in most countries, cash payment with currency remains the most accepted payment medium for small-value transactions in Singapore. Notes are in circulation in denominations of SGD 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000. Coins are issued in denominations of SGD 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.50 and 1.00.

Singapore has the following non-cash payments facilities:

Payment using Smart Phones Disruptive technology has led to the growth of several mobile payment apps in Singapore like Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayNow, Paylah, GrabPay and AliPay. These mobile payment methods are transforming the way purchases can be made in Singapore. You simply need to flash your smart mobile devices to pay for your purchases at the cashier without having to carry a wallet.

GIRO General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) is an automated electronic payment service which allows you to make recurring payment to approved billing organisations from your Singapore bank account.

Payment cards such as Debit cards: these are either PIN-based debit cards and signature-based. PIN-based debit cards allow cardholders to make payments or withdraw cash from their deposit accounts at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals. Visa Electron card and the Debit MasterCard are examples of signature-based debit cards in Singapore.

Cheques: commonly used in Singapore by consumers for bills and small-value payments and among businesses for regular payments such as purchases of goods and services.

For safety reasons, cheques should always be crossed by drawing two diagonal parallel lines on the upper left corner of the cheque. For extra safety you can write or stamp, "account payee only" between those two lines. Then the cheque can only be paid into the account of the payee stated. Cross out the words "or bearer" to ensure, that only the payee stated can deposit the cheque. Sometimes you are asked not cross the cheque enabling the bearer to cash it at any bank. Always write the amount in words followed by the word "only" to ensure that no other words can be added. The numbers must be identical with the words. Corrections must have a full signature against them. Initials are not accepted.

Credit cards All major credit cards are offered in Singapore. The issuance of credit cards is subject to MAS guidelines and regulations. American Express, Diners, Master Card and Visa are common in Singapore. You need an employment pass valid for at least 12 months and an annual salary of at least S$ 30,000 (VISA) and $ 48,000 for a Gold Card to be confirmed by a letter of your employer or a copy of your last Singapore tax assessment. Inquire about the processing time. Some banks offer online card applications. A large number of affinity cards are now available ranging from a "ladies only" card to ones that will earn frequent flyer miles. Check each banks web site for details of the range of cards they offer. Singapore banks work with Credit Bureau Singapore to assess how many other cards an applicant has before issuing a new card or deciding on a credit limit.

Electronic money more commonly known as “stored value cards” it is categorised into single purpose stored value cards (SPSVCs) and multipurpose stored value cards (MPSVCs). SPSVCs can only be used to pay for goods and services offered by the issuer (eg prepaid phone cards). MPSVC also allows cardholders to pay for goods and services offered by other merchants or organisations. The CashCard is a MPSVC jointly issued by the three local banks, namely, DBS/POSB, UOB and OCBC.

Automated teller machines (ATMs) ATMs allow banks’ customers to perform routine banking transactions without having to visit a bank branch.

Electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) the EFTPOS service introduced by NETS is a debit card system allowing ATM cardholders to use their ATM cards to pay merchants for the purchase of goods and services through an online transfer of funds from their accounts

NETS/ATM/Cash Cards/ez-link Card

  • NETS card
named after the processing company) are issued by the Singaporean banks and are linked to your current or saving account for automatic debiting. NETS cards double as ATM cards and you are able to withdraw cash up to between S$ 2,000 and S$ 3,000 at over 1700 ATMS machines on the island. The NETS cards are the most commonly used cards in Singapore.

  • Cash Card/Stored Value Card
Cash Cards are the most commonly accepted cash less payment method in Singapore and is a MPSVC jointly issued by the three local banks offered to consumers as a cashless payment option at a variety of retail outlets, car parks and vending machines, as well as payment of toll charges at Electronic Road Pricing gantries and the checkpoints between Singapore and Malaysia. The CashCard can be used for online purchases with the use of a card reader and reused by topping up its value to a maximum of SGD 500 at ATMs, Development Bank of Singapore, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank. selected EFTPOS terminals and automated kiosks provided by NETS as well as some mobile phones. Some banks issue combined NETS and Cash Card.

  • ez-link Card
The ez-link card is used for travel on buses and the MRT is also a stored value card and can be topped up using your NETS card. Some retailers are beginning to accept ez-link cards for transactions. Since beginning of 2009 ez-link cards can be topped up at DBS' ATMs.

  • ATM
Most banks have their own ATM systems, but there are two automated teller machine networks providing a link between the systems operating in Singapore : POSB-DBS ATM network ATMNETS network, a shared ATM service of the other two local banks (United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation).