Singapore’s DBS Bank has partnered with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to enable businesses to go cheque-free and adopt digital channels.

As a start, the partnership aims to digitalise tax payouts and collections through PayNow.

PayNow is said to have helped in lowering cheque volumes by 20% since its inception in March as an option for Wage Credit Scheme payouts.

DBS Bank group head of digital of institutional banking group Raof Latiff said: “To bring Singapore’s digital agenda to fruition, it is critical to encourage SMEs to get on board the digital payments train as they represent 99 per cent of businesses locally.

“Partnering with statutory boards like IRAS is one of the key ways to encourage this shift, with them leading the way by digitalising payments and collections channels across their suite of services.”

Plans are also on to digitalise IRAS’ stamp duty services using the bank’s Direct Debit Authorisation (DDA) API.

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The service is expected to be made available next month.

With the availability of this service, taxpayers will be able to make stamp duty payments and instantly get a stamp duty certificate via IRAS’ e-Stamping Portal. Currently, this is done through cheques, a process that is time-consuming.

IRAS director of revenue and payment management branch Ang Sor Tjing said: “Implementing PayNow for the disbursement of the scheme’s payouts helps encourage businesses, many of which comprise SMEs, to go chequeless and transition towards digital payments.

“As part of IRAS’ digitalisation drive, we are also working with DBS to expand the use of PayNow to more services for the convenience of businesses and individuals.”