Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bank account numbers should be used transparently

Two years ago, I met a senior manager of an insurance company. He told me - Mr. Tan, why do many people make payment by cheques? I came from Spain and throughout my life, i have never written any queue.

How did he make payment? By bank transfer.

Most suppliers happily provide their bank account number to their customers to make payment by bank transfer into their bank.

They write their bank account number in their invoice and in their website.

Someone told me that cheques are hardly used in China. They also make payments by bank transfer or by mobile phone payment.

More people are using bank transfer in Singapore today, but cheque payment is still very common.

Even the process of bank transfer in Singapore is quite cumbersome. The process is poorly designed.

One big issue is that MAS probably insist that the bank account no be kept confidential. I cannot understand the rationale. There is no risk about the bank account no being known.

Nobody can access the bank account by its number. They need to have the password and 2FA.

When I receive notification of bank transfer from my bank, it does not show the full bank account number. It only shows the last 4 digits. This is not helpful.

But Singapore is like this - inefficient, slow, costly. I do not know when MAS and the govt will wake up.

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