Nearly 900,000 transactions totaling more than S$41 million have been made through GovWallet on the LifeSG mobile app since the launch of the co-developed digital payment service in November 2021, as Singapore aims to go check-free by 2025.
LifeSG (formerly Moments of Life) is one of the strategic national projects under Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
Singapore citizens and its permanent residents can receive government payments through the app, instead of checks and paper vouchers.
Depending on the scheme for which they are eligible, users can either transfer government payments to bank accounts linked to PayNow NCI or spend them at merchants that accept Scan and Pay payment via PayNow UEN or NETS QR.
GovTech and OCBC Bank jointly developed the digital payment service by leveraging the bank’s API and the agency’s GovWallet solution for individuals.
This service is not limited to OCBC Bank customers. It is available to all recipients of government payments.
Three government agencies – the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the CPF Board (CPFB) – have since adopted this service to administer their check-free and paper voucher payment schemes.
The payment service will also be used to disburse GST vouchers in August.
Prior to adopting this payment service, the three agencies issued nearly 600,000 checks and paper vouchers in 2021.
As the digital payment service uses the PayNow and NETS infrastructure, merchants who already accept these payments do not need to do additional registrations. There are currently more than 164,000 and 43,000 merchants registered with PayNow and NETS respectively.
Recipients can easily monitor their government payment balances and transaction history on the LifeSG app.
They have the flexibility to spend any amount within their payment limit, rather than having to spend a minimum amount at once, which was a limitation of paper vouchers.
GovTech and OCBC Bank said they expect more government agencies to adopt this digital payment service in the coming months, with the number of transactions expected to pass 1 million in the first year.
This is OCBC Bank’s latest initiative to support the public sector in its mission to better serve citizens and businesses through technology.
Earlier this year, the bank supported CPFB to launch its check replacement service GovCash, which allows Singaporeans who cannot use direct bank lending to receive government payments through facial recognition at its ATMs, without the need to have a bank account OCBC account.
Melvin Lowe, Head of Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank said,
“It has been an exciting journey working with the GovTech team as we digitize the use of government payments. This collaboration is only possible because of the forward-looking stance of GovTech and OCBC’s technology investments over the years.
The growing acceptance of QR code payment by merchants and consumers in Singapore due to the Covid-19 pandemic was also a key factor.”
Gabriel 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 easily tracking their government payments with the merchants they love.
We welcome public agencies to join our LifeSG platform and take advantage of personalized services to provide greater convenience to our citizens.”
LifeSG App Had Close to a Million Transactions Valued at S$41 Million Since Nov 2021