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Singapore Ministry of Education to pilot use of PayNow for disbursement of award monies

Singapore Ministry of Education to pilot use of PayNow for disbursement of award monies

The Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore announced that it will pilot the use of PayNow to disburse Edusave Award monies to Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnic students [1] in 2018 for greater convenience and efficiency.

E-Payments is one of the key strategic Smart Nation projects and multiple initiatives were launched in Singapore over the past year in the drive towards a cashless economy. In July, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) launched PayNow, which enables the customers of seven participating banks [2] to transfer Singapore Dollar funds from one bank to another in Singapore, using just their mobile number (Singapore National Registration Identity Card/Foreign Identification Number can also be used).

Currently, the award recipients receive certificates and award monies in the form of cheques at the various Edusave Award ceremonies. They then receive the funds in their bank accounts within two days of depositing the cheques.

Under the pilot, PayNow will be used to facilitate faster and more convenient payment of Edusave Award monies. Once ITE and polytechnic Edusave Award recipients have signed up for PayNow with their respective banks (using their NRIC numbers), and are presented with their Award certificates at the presentation ceremony, they will receive the monies in their bank accounts directly on the day of the ceremony. Students and parents will not have to visit a bank to deposit their cheques nor will they have to wait for the award monies to be credited into their accounts.

The pilot comprises two runs in April and September 2018, involving about 9,000 ITE students and 25,000 ITE and polytechnic students respectively.

MOE will share more details of the pilot with stakeholders such as grassroots advisors, constituency offices, ITE colleges, polytechnics, and award recipients before the first award ceremony in April. The Ministry will also send letters to award recipients to let them know which Edusave Award(s) they will be receiving, and these letters will include instructions on how to sign up for PayNow using their NRIC number.

After completing the pilot, MOE will review if the process can be extended to Edusave Awards for all other students.

[1] These include the Edusave Character Award (ECHA) for ITE students, Edusave Skills Award (ESA) for ITE and polytechnic students, EAGLES for ITE students, Edusave Merit Bursary for ITE and polytechnic students, and Edusave Good Progress Award for ITE and polytechnic students (from Year 2 onwards).

[2] The seven are Citibank Singapore Limited, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank.

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