Singapore banks to pilot Facebook and Twitter IDs for payments
Banks in Singapore are working together on a new service that will allow users to make payments using Twitter usernames or Facebook IDs.
According to the FT, a pilot is due to take place in the first quarter of 2017.
Rather than entering an account number and sort code, users will be able to make payments by selecting the payee’s Facebook ID or Twitter username.
Singapore’s existing internal fund transfer system, Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST), which brings together 20 banks to allow near-instant fund transfers, will be used. Participating banks include UOB and DBS, as well as others with Asian retail operations, such as Citi and HSBC.
The proxy ID system would begin with the use of mobile phone numbers as substitutes for bank accounts.
An unnamed person that spoke to the FT says: “We are building a system for the future with capabilities to store multiple [proxy IDs].
“This will be a gradual change … people will start using mobile numbers and gradually move to other proxies.”
The social network
The use of social media in fintech has been going on for several years.
In 2013, India’s ICICI Bank launched a new app that lets customers pay their friends and share expenses between groups of people on Facebook.
Last year, Axis Bank, also in India, released a mobile payments service called Ping Pay, which allows customers to send money to each other using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, email or phone number.
This year, South African banking heavyweight Absa launched ChatBanking, the “first” service in Africa offering day-to-day banking from a Twitter account.