Payment Media


In July 2003, banks in Singapore migrated to a new cheque clearing system, known as the Cheque Truncation System (CTS).  CTS originated as an initiative from the SCHA and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to enhance the operational efficiencies of the banking industry.  CTS is the world's first nation-wide end-to-end cheque truncation system, leveraging on advanced imaging and internet technologies to capture cheque images at the point of deposit and transmitting the images over a secured communication network.  Please refer to the ABS website for more information on CTS.

In September 2002, MAS had amended the Bills of Exchange Act and issued the Bills of Exchange (Cheque Truncation) Regulations 2002 to facilitate the establishment of CTS.

Both Singapore dollar (SGD) denominated cheques and United States dollar (USD) denominated cheques presented to, and drawn on banks in Singapore, are cleared through CTS.  Note that for USD cheques to be cleared in ACH, both Presenting and Paying banks must be participants of ACH. 

The SGD cheque clearing system and USD cheque clearing system are designated payment systems under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act 2006.

Interbank GIRO

Interbank GIRO (IBG) system allows customers of a participating bank to transfer funds through direct debits and credits, to the accounts of other participating banks.  Previously, it involves the exchange of magnetic media containing payment instructions from the participating banks via ACH.

In July 2001, the SACH enhanced the IBG system to a browser-based eGIRO system, thus eliminating the manual delivery of magnetic tapes between participating banks and the ACH.  Participants can now send and receive GIRO items, including returned and rejected items, electronically via a secured communication network.  With eGIRO, clearing cycles for the direct credit and debit transactions are shortened significantly. 

The Interbank GIRO is a designated payment system under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act 2006.

Credit and Charge Cards

A credit or charge card represents a granted line of credit that allows the holder to make purchases or obtain a cash advance up to an approved credit limit.  For credit cards, the debt incurred can be settled in part; interest is charged on the amount of extended credit.  For charge cards, the full amount of the debt must be settled by the end of each billing period. For statistics on credit and charge cards, please refer to the Key Resources below.

Debit Cards

A debit card allows cardholders to make payments and cash withdrawals from their deposit accounts through an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) or an Electronic Funds Transfers at Point of Sale terminal (EFTPOS).  Debit cards can be broadly categorised into two groups: PIN-based debit cards and signature-based debit cards.  NETS EFTPOS is an example of a PIN-based debit card while VISA Debit and MasterCard Debit are examples of signature-based debit cards in Singapore. 

The NETS EFTPOS system is a designated payment system under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act 2006.

Stored Value Facilities (SVFs)

A Stored Value Facility (SVF) is a form of prepaid electronic cash or card that can be used within the system of the SVF issuer.  Click here to find out more.

Last Modified on 13/12/2018