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Singapore banks to allow cellphone numbers for transfers

Institutions embracing fintech to serve the mobile-first generation

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United Overseas Bank (UOB), DBS and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) automated teller machines are pictured at the airport in Singapore.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The Association of Banks in Singapore will soon launch a new service enabling retail account holders at seven banks here to send one another money by using cellphone numbers instead of account numbers.

The PayNow peer-to-peer fund transfer service, announced Tuesday, goes live July 10. It will serve customers of top three Singaporean banks DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and United Overseas Bank, as well as Citibank, HSBC, Malayan Banking and Standard Chartered Bank. Customers will be able to send money instantly by supplying recipients' mobile numbers linked to their bank accounts. National ID numbers can be used instead. The service will be free, including transactions between two different banks.

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