Wise to allow visitors in S'pore to scan and pay with app, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Wise to allow visitors in S'pore to scan and pay with app

Visitors to Singapore will soon be able to use their Wise app to scan and pay for goods and services here.

The fintech giant said on March 7 that it has connected directly to the PayNow network, so users are able to make QR code payments directly through its app to thousands of merchants once the feature is up and running in a few months. 

Singapore will be the first country to get the Wise scan-to-pay feature, with other markets to follow. 

The process is much like other multi-currency payment apps. Funds will be deducted from a customer’s Wise account – either directly from his Singapore dollar balances, or converted from other currencies at the mid-market rate, which can usually be found through a Google search.

The app will show any fees and the final amount that will be charged before the user confirms payment.

Wise already offers a debit card that functions in a similar way. It has issued more than four million of these cards globally, and processes around 33 million transactions a month.

Mr Shrawan Saraogi, Wise’s Asia-Pacific head of expansion and Singapore country manager, told The Straits Times that the move will allow visitors to pay at places like hawker centres that do not usually accept card payments. 

Such shops already offer a range of QR code payment options, but these are dominated by banking apps and fintech players that largely cater to customers living here. 

“There are places, especially in Singapore and elsewhere in South-east Asia, where QR is a common way to pay. There are also places that don’t accept cards, but which accept QR payments,” said Mr Saraogi.

Non-bank financial institutions have been able to use PayNow since February 2021, leading to more competition in the e-wallet space. 

In April 2023, China’s Ant Group announced that tourists in Singapore could make QR e-payments via Alipay+ at about 11,000 hawker centre stalls, coffee shops and wet markets.

Partner e-wallets supported by Alipay+ include AlipayHK from Hong Kong, Touch ‘n Go eWallet from Malaysia, GCash in the Philippines, TrueMoney from Thailand and Kakao Pay in South Korea.