New eGiro service cuts application time from weeks to minutes
Process that required paper forms and used to take three to four weeks is now fully digital
A new nationwide eGiro service that cuts the time taken to process Giro applications from weeks to just minutes was launched yesterday.
Instead of filling in paper application forms and mailing them, the fully digital service allows users to set up their automatic monthly payment instructions online, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) said.
It was announced yesterday morning by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology 2021.
Introduced in 1984, Giro is an electronic direct debit system for recurring bill payments from bank accounts.
Currently, when people apply to set up a Giro arrangement, they have to manually fill in paper forms and mail them to their billing organisation, which processes the applications and sends them to the bank.
The bank has to process the forms and send the confirmation back to the billing organisation.
Altogether, this manual- intensive process takes an average of three to four weeks.
Now people can simply visit their billing organisation's website or mobile app and select their bank, before logging in to their bank page and choosing the account from which to pay their bills.
Singapore has about a million Giro users, said Ms Anita Loh, chair of the eGiro initiative, during a press briefing yesterday.
This is set to grow, with the convenience offered by eGiro and as more billing organisations come on board, she added.
In its initial phase, eGiro will be progressively offered by eight major banks, ABS said. They are DBS/POSB, OCBC Bank, UOB, Bank of China, HSBC, Maybank, Standard Chartered Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
The eGiro service can be used to pay 13 billing organisations across business segments, such as public services, insurance, wealth management and payment services.
They include the Central Provident Fund Board, GrabPay, Housing Board, Singapore E-Business and Singtel Dash.
The eGiro platform is designed and implemented by Deloitte Consulting South-east Asia and is operated by Banking Computer Services, a subsidiary of Nets.
It is built on cloud-based architecture and can quickly scale to accommodate the needs of all banks and billing organisations in Singapore, ABS said.
ABS director Ong-Ang Ai Boon said: "It will also cut the consumption of paper-based documentation by around two million sheets per year."
Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Monetary Authority of Singapore chief fintech officer, said: "The introduction of eGiro marks another significant step forward for Singapore towards a more inclusive digital economy by leveraging on the foundational digital infrastructures Singapore has built.
"This aligns with our vision to drive interoperable solutions and seamless digital services to reach more people and businesses, at lower cost and greater convenience."
New book teaches kids about cyber-security threats
How do you keep a thief out? By locking the door.
And you need to do that with your data too. Passwords are like locks for digital content. Pick a good password, change it regularly and never share it with others.
That is part of the advice from a new children's book given to the libraries of all primary and special education schools here. It tries to help educate pupils on protecting themselves from cyber-security threats.
About 2,000 copies of the book have been distributed free to more than 200 schools, comprising 186 primary schools and 19 special education schools.
This was announced yesterday, Singapore Cyber Day, by cyber-security company Fortinet, as part of the Association of Information Security Professionals' (AiSP) CyberFest series of cyber-security events and initiatives this week.
Titled Cyber Safe: A Dog's Guide To Internet Security, the book is centred on Lacey the dog who teaches her cat friend Gabbi how to use the Internet safely.
In comic-book style, it covers topics such as what the Internet can be used for and warns against chatting with strangers online.
Released in March, it was written by two mothers, Fortinet's deputy chief information security officer Renee Tarun and United States National Board-certified teacher Susan Burg.
AiSP and Fortinet said it is important for young people to receive proper guidance and support about cyber security at an early age.
"More children are online for prolonged periods of time and online learning has become a way of life, so it is especially important to educate our youth on Internet safety," said Ms Jess Ng, Fortinet's country head for Singapore and Brunei.
She said that with many Internet-connected devices used for home-based learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there are opportunities for cyber criminals to conduct attacks, such as stealing information and installing malware.
The book also includes a parent's guide with details on what they should be aware of when their children are online.
The paperback version of the Cyber Safe book costs US$7.50 (S$10.15) while the e-book costs US$3.99. To buy a copy, visit bit.ly/3wiDXcu