Need to transfer money to a friend urgently? Unable to reach him for his account number?
Fret not, OCBC Bank now allows you to send money without your recipient’s account details and best of all, on Facebook.
And that is only the icing on the cake – known as OCBC Pay Anyone (PAO), this service also enables you to wire the money to a customer of any bank instantly.
Moreover, if Facebook fails, there is also the email and SMS as alternatives. PAO currently allows a user to send up to $100 only. The service is not on a separate, stand-alone app; it is available on the OCBC SG Mobile Banking app upon user update.
Using PAO is easy: First, you select the payee from your list of Facebook contacts. Next, you key in a 6-digit passcode. This password will remain valid for 24 hours from the time the request is made. Finally, you make the transfer.
Once payment is done, the recipient would receive a private Facebook post indicating that a transfer has been made to his account. The recipient will then enter the same 6-digit passcode and account details for confirmation of the transaction.
The PAO service comes less than a month after the Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST) was rolled out. FAST heralds a breakthrough in inter-banks transfer as the process can now be done instantly. Previously, if a DBS customer wanted to send money to an OCBC user, the latter would need to wait up to 3 working days to receive payment.
While the newly launched PAO may save the sender a lot time and effort to transfer money, it may not be the same for the receiver. What the service does is to simply shift the burden or pain from the sender to the recipient.
Student, Jared Tan shared the same sentiment. He said: “I think what it does is it transfers the pain of transferring money from the transferer to the transferee. In traditional e-banking methods, all the transferee had to do was to wait for the money to come in.
“But now he has to play an active part in the money transfer process as well. This means that now two people would have to collaborate to get money from one person to the other instead of the usual one person.”
OCBC Bank is not the first bank in the world to introduce money transfers on Facebook. The RBC Royal Bank of Canada has a similar service known as the Interact e-Transfer. Unlike PAO, Interact users are required to enter a security question and answer. That is more blanks to fill than OCBC’s straightforward 6-digit passcode field.
Nonetheless, using the OCBC Pay Anyone service is still very safe. In fact, having the additional passcode step may even help to save some trouble of a miskeyed amount. Unlike the ATM, you can alert your PAO recipient to ignore the alert if a wrong amount was accidentally entered. This saves the time of transferring the money back!
Response to PAO has been mixed but it will surely have its early adopters. Polytechnic student, Yeo Poh Seng is one of those who is willing to try the new service.
He said: “I would defnitely use it! It’s a lot more convenient than what we are doing now because it eliminates the usage of bank account numbers (which is really inconvenient to enter and then double check).”