01 Oct 2019

Collaboration involves digitalising tax payments and collections via PayNow for a start

 In line with Singapore’s Smart Nation agenda, DBS Bank is collaborating with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to digitalise tax payouts and collections via PayNow to encourage more businesses to go cheque-free. 

IRAS first introduced PayNow as an option for businesses to receive Wage Credit Scheme[1] (WCS) payouts in March, resulting in a 20 per cent reduction in cheque volumes to-date. Before the implementation of PayNow, about half of WCS-eligible businesses, many of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), chose to receive their payouts via cheques. 

Ms Ang Sor Tjing, Director of IRAS’ Revenue and Payment Management Branch said, “Implementing PayNow for the disbursement of the scheme’s payouts helps encourage businesses, many of which comprise SMEs, to go chequeless and transition towards digital payments. As part of IRAS’ digitalisation drive, we are also working with DBS to expand the use of PayNow to more services for the convenience of businesses and individuals.” 

Mr Raof Latiff, Group Head of Digital, Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank said, “Acceptance of digital transactions among individuals in Singapore has been well established. To bring Singapore’s digital agenda to fruition, it is critical to encourage SMEs to get on board the digital payments train as they represent 99 per cent of businesses locally. Partnering with statutory boards like IRAS is one of the key ways to encourage this shift, with them leading the way by digitalising payments and collections channels across their suite of services.”

For the next phase, both parties are working together to leverage DBS’ APIs (application programming interface) to digitalise IRAS’ stamp duty services. Currently, most taxpayers tend to pay for conveyancing stamp duty[2] via cheques and have to wait several days for the cheque to be cleared before a stamp duty certificate is issued. However, with DBS’ Direct Debit Authorisation (DDA) API, taxpayers can set up a GIRO account online, and make payment for their stamp duty and receive a stamp certificate through IRAS’ e-Stamping Portal instantly. In addition, with a transfer limit of SGD200,000 per transaction, the DBS DDA solution also enables IRAS to digitalise payments for the majority of conveyancing stamp duty transactions. This new DDA e-payment option for conveyancing stamp duty will be launched in November, and more details can be found on the IRAS website closer to the launch date.

“Besides stamp duty payments, with cashless payments gaining momentum in Singapore, taxpayers are encouraged to use cashless or electronic payment modes such as GIRO and online banking to fulfil their other tax obligations,” said Ms Ang.

DBS continues to see traction from SMEs in the adoption of PayNow

DBS currently banks more than one in two SMEs in Singapore and continues to see healthy interest from the segment to digitalise their businesses. 

Since PayNow was launched to corporates in August last year, DBS has seen a steady increase in SMEs adopting the digital payment collections solution, with the bank holding close to 40 per cent of the market share by registrations to date. From a transactions perspective, DBS’ corporate clients contribute to more than half of PayNow Corporate receipts in Singapore, with volumes from the bank’s SME customers growing threefold to date. This was mainly driven by healthy take-up of the bank’s PayNow-integrated QR payment solution, DBS MAX, which led to a doubling in digital payment and collection transactions by SMEs since the solution was launched in November 2018.

“Singapore has continued to show steady progress in the adoption of digital payments on the back of the government’s continuous push to become a Smart Nation. However, in order to fulfil Singapore’s ambition to go chequeless by 2025, we need to continue to innovate and explore new ways to help ease businesses, especially SMEs, into the digital future, while providing them the support they need to face the challenges ahead,” said Mr Latiff.

  To this end, DBS has invested more than 100 hours this year in customer workshops to educate business owners on the benefits of digital payment solutions such as DBS MAX, and targets to ramp up the adoption of DBS MAX among its SME clients by five times by end 2020.

[1] https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/Schemes/Businesses/Wage-Credit-Scheme--WCS-/

[2] Conveyancing stamp duty refers to taxes relating to the purchase of a property

About DBS 
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world. 

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for ten consecutive years from 2009 to 2018.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 27,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.


About Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is the largest revenue agency in Singapore responsible for the administration of taxes. We are a partner of the community in nation-building and inclusive growth. We support Singapore’s sustainable economic growth by fostering a competitive tax environment and administering Government schemes.

Visit IRAS’ website at www.iras.gov.sg

Follow IRAS on facebook.com/irassg and twitter.com/iras_sg