FAST boosts real-time payments in Singapore

T.C. Seow

VocaLink, the UK-based international payment systems provider, has helped modernise the payments landscape in Singapore with an innovative real-time payments platform, FAST. According to a press statement, the new platform has been modelled on the UK's Faster Payments Service.

The new Singapore payments system is said to have the backing of 14 financial institutions in the country. With FAST, businesses and consumers in Singapore are able to electronically transfer funds between accounts held at participating financial institutions in seconds – instead of the two to three business days it used to take.

As part of the agreement with the Association of Banks in Singapore, VocaLink has partnered with BCS Information Systems Pte Ltd (BCSIS), the Asian payments solution provider to deliver this service.

In the UK, the Faster Payments Service has provided a real-time platform for innovation. Although the original remit was to facilitate single immediate payments between UK bank accounts, real-time technology is driving the development and proliferation of a wider range of services, including mobile payments.

VocaLink said the successful launch of FAST in Singapore in partnership with BCSIS is a significant milestone in delivering this strategy and it expects to reach many other territories in the years ahead.

Ricky Lim, Managing Director at BCSIS, commented: "With our expertise in clearing and payment solutions in Asia, and in working with VocaLink, we have been able to deliver FAST successfully in Singapore."

"There is now enormous scope to grow digital services associated with the scheme, with a particular emphasis on mobile payments. Singapore is an early adopter of real-time payment capabilities and we expect other countries in the region to take up this innovative technology in the coming years," he added.