OCBC introduces Google Pay to fuel cashless P2P transactions in Singapore

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OCBC Bank has integrated Google Pay into its P2P transfer service, thereby expanding its customers’ options for reducing their cash usage during the coronavirus crisis.

The introduction of Google Pay’s P2P services by OCBC is the first by any institution in Singapore and marks the third country to enable Google Pay’s P2P funds transfer services after the U.S. and India. The inclusion of Google Pay as a payment option aligns with OCBC’s strategic goal to offer an open digital wallet in a crowded market that is flooded with both closed loop wallets used for P2P transfers and merchant payments, such as GrabPay and Alipay, and open loop wallets such as Apple Pay. Earlier in April, Huawei Technologies launched its own open loop wallet, Huawei Pay, in coordination with the UnionPay network.

"With this partnership with Google Pay, OCBC customers can choose to pay their friends using Google Pay in addition to OCBC Pay Anyone with their linked OCBC Bank accounts. This is a testament to our partnership-driven strategy that has led us to develop a wide suite of payment solutions," said Ching Wei Hong, head of global wealth management & consumer banking at OCBC Bank in a press release. "Singaporeans continue to significantly increase their use of PayNow, with more than 70 million transactions worth S$12.16 billion [about $8.6 billion] in 2019. We believe that our partnership with Google Pay will continue to help drive this trend in 2020 and beyond.”

The desire to integrate Google Pay follows OCBC’s strategy of supporting alternatives to stored-value mobile wallet accounts.

PayNow is a Singapore P2P interbank funds transfer service available to customers of nine participating banks — Bank of China, Citibank Singapore Limited, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB. PayNow has also introduced corporate payments and QR code-based merchant payment service as well.

“We’re excited to have OCBC as our inaugural launch partner for the new Google Pay in Singapore. It was a pleasure working with the team to design and build Google Pay for Singapore so customers can provision their OCBC Bank accounts and leverage the national rails – via PayNow – for transactions,” said Caesar Sengupta, vice president of payments and the next billion users initiatives at Google, in a press release.

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Google Pay Coronavirus P-to-P payments