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Singapore Launches GovCash for Government Payments

Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board in collaboration with a Singapore Bank and GovTech, has launched the GovCash to replace cheque issuance for Singaporeans who are unable to use direct bank crediting – so they can receive Government payments1 more quickly and conveniently. Up to 40,000 Singaporeans will be spared from queueing at bank branches to encash some 500,000 cheques annually.

GovCash is designed to be simple and intuitive to use. Singaporeans can withdraw the Government payments in cash starting with over 500 the bank’s ATMs located across Singapore. GovCash is no less secure than receiving payments via cheque. It has adopted the Singpass facial verification technology to authenticate users, including a liveness-detection capability that blocks the use of photographs, videos or masks during the verification process. Singaporeans do not need to have a bank account to use the GovCash service.

Previously, cheque recipients would have to deposit the cheques or encash them over the bank counters. GovCash allows them to receive their payments at the ATM immediately at any time of the day. They are no longer restricted by the bank’s operating hours. Singaporeans who prefer to seek assistance with their GovCash withdrawals can visit the ATMs located within OCBC’s branches during operating hours, where OCBC Digital Ambassadors will be present to guide them.

Being able to receive Government payments instantly is a key benefit for Singaporeans. This is enabled by the convenience of self-service withdrawals from ATMs in a secure manner. The bank is pleased to support the CPF Board in its mission to continually improve the service experience for Singaporeans through initiatives like GovCash, which takes us one step closer to the Smart Nation vision of serving citizens and businesses better through technology.

The majority of citizens who made withdrawals using GovCash during the pilot phase had given positive feedback. One of the recipients said the whole process of receiving WIS payments with GovCash was very easy and convenient. He was able to do it by himself and withdraw the payment immediately at the ATM.

In addition, GovCash also allows recipients to use the scan-and-pay function and PayNow transfer option through the LifeSG mobile app. CPF Board will continue to explore alternatives to provide more convenient and safe services to our customers

CPF was established on 1 July 1955, to help workers save for retirement by contributing part of their monthly income. As the nation’s social security system, CPF’s fundamental mission is to help all members achieve a secure retirement. CPF is supplemented by homeownership, which provides an important source of savings that members can draw on if needed. CPF continues to evolve and identify areas for improvement in order to benefit the lives of its diverse membership, today and in the future.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, about 80% of Singaporeans underestimate the amount they need for retirement by a whopping 31%, according to the Financial Wellness Index. Governments can better help citizens prepare financially for retirement by using data efficiently. The CPF helps citizens with retirement planning by granting them easy access to their pensions data.

CPF also analysed data of its members’ past behaviour to customise messages to encouraged them to top up their retirement savings accounts. Members are motivated to make top-ups for different reasons. For example, some may be motivated to help their loved ones, while tax relief may be very attractive to others. This approach led to 117,000 citizens receiving top-ups with dollar-for-dollar matching from the government last year under a special programme.

Another way that CPFBhelps citizens prepare for retirement is through personalised appointments with a CPF officer when they turn 55 and 65 years old respectively. During these sessions, CPF officers guide citizens through relevant retirement plans. Each session is customised based on their existing pensions data, such as their rate of savings and outstanding loans.

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