Multiple E-Payments Options Helps Boost Singapore’s Finance Sector

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A DBS bank signage is pictured in Singapore September 5, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo)

Singapore's finance sector has been booming over the past few years due to the rise of multiple e-payments options that financial institutions and agencies offer. Analysts said mobile payments are popular among citizens due to convenience and high-speed transactions.

According to the Singapore Business Review, technological evolutions in the finance sector helped buoy e-payments segments. The city-state has been promoting financial technology (fintech) developments and the initiative helped provide new payment systems and choice that consumers can choose from.

Aside from consumer-centric systems, the finance sector has also introduced application programming interfaces (APIs) to improve data exchange between financial institutions. Improved information sharing in the industry has helped agencies provide effective service to Singaporeans.

Increased consumer demand further boosted the e-payments sector as more Singaporeans lean on mobile transactions for ease of access and faster processing of documents and information necessary for online transactions.

Industry analysts noted that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Smart Nation Initiative established in 2014 helped encourage the rise of modernized payment offers. In addition to the previous finance program, the Payment Services Act (PSA) that will take effect sometime early 2020 is expected to further boost e-payment activities.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it is committed to integrating e-payments systems to help financial institutions focus on providing fast and accurate transactions for users in Singapore.

Over the weekend, analysts ignited talk about how Singapore's elderly will be educated effectively in terms of using e-payments. The rise of electronic payment services appears to have left the elderly behind, some finance experts argued.

 On Wednesday, a Straits Times report suggested that the Singaporean government should promote e-payments solutions that will make it easier for older users to adapt. The purpose is to avoid excluding the city-state's elderly when the time comes that bank notes and ATMs are phased out.

Since older people hesitate to trust intangible things, analysts said e-payment app developers should consider a more visually-centric interface that features bigger fonts and easy-to-follow instructions.

Finance experts also encouraged the younger generation to assist older e-payments subscribers to help ease their burdens with existing apps that aren't upgraded with bigger fonts and visuals.

Late last month, the MAS updated the city-state's e-payment guidelines in a bid to reduce or completely avoid fraudulent activities. The main purpose is to ensure that the information of both users and financial institutions are protected.

The new guidelines are expected to take effect by the end of June to address citizen concerns regarding potential identity theft and fraud.

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