IRAS and DBS Aim to Make Singapore a Cheque-Free Nation by 2025
The move to make Singapore a cheque-free nation is in line with the Government’s Smart Nation agenda. DBS Bank and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) aim to work together to encourage businesses to adopt the cheque-free approach. Part of the DBS and IRAS’s collaborative initiatives include working with PayNow to digitalise tax collection and payment.
Implementation of PayNow System
The PayNow system was first introduced by IRAS. This option enabled businesses to receive their Wage Credit Scheme pay-outs and see a 20% reduction in cheque volumes to date. Prior to the introduction of this system, many businesses (mainly SMEs) still opted to receive pay-outs via cheques.
Implementing PayNow proved to be a success as many businesses started phasing out the use of cheques. Opting to go digital was well received and now DBS plans to expand the use of PayNow. This will encourage more services to go digital for the convenience of everyone involved. So far, Singapore is making good progress in bringing its smart nation digital plan to fruition.
SMEs, especially, must be encouraged to adopt the digital approach. SMEs comprise 99% of the local business makeup. Teaming up with statutory boards that are reputable and well-established like IRAS is a way to encourage this shift. This move is a step forward in the right direction towards the goal of having Singapore a cheque-free nation.
Next Phase to Make Singapore a Cheque-free Nation
The next phase of the implementation will see both IRAS and DBS collaborate on leveraging DBS’s APIs. This will be done to help IRAS digitalise their stamp duty services. Most taxpayers are still paying for their conveyancing stamp duties via cheques. Taxpayers will need to have an online GIRO account to make the payments. Stamp certificates will be issued through IRAS’s e-Stamping portal immediately.
Cashless payments are gaining momentum in Singapore and taxpayers are encouraged to get on board. Making Singapore a cheque-free nation is going to be for the convenience of all involved. Electronic payments and online banking systems are going to make this tax paying obligations easier to fulfil. DBS continues to receive a good amount of interest from SMEs about digitalising their businesses. Being responsible for most of the SMEs in Singapore, DBS sees this as an encouragement towards making Singapore a cheque-free nation.
Despite the positive outlook, Singapore must continue to explore and innovate new ways of making business easier and more convenient. SMEs must be provided with the necessary support for the challenges ahead as the nation gears up to make Singapore a cheque-free nation.