In June 2001, Network for Electronic Transfers (S) Pte Ltd (NETS) and The Payment Solutions Company launched janusX, Singapores first Internet payment service. janusX enables consumers to initiate online payments by directly debiting their bank accounts. In March 2002, Green Dot Payment Services and BCS Information Systems also announced their joint venture to provide an electronic payment service targeted to be launched by June 2002. As a further step to enrich the electronic payment landscape in Singapore, the two consortia announced their strategic intent to interconnect their networks for the benefit of consumers and merchants. The inter-connection is expected to be effected by end-2002.
In October 2001, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore selected and awarded funding to four consortia to conduct trials for mobile payments. The trials, which are set to run from March till August 2002, will involve mobile phone users initiating payments via their mobile phones using various technologies such as SMS, WAP, InfraRed and RFID.
The Singapore Automated Clearing House (SACH) successfully launched a new online system for electronic payments called eGIRO in July. The eGIRO system replaces the magnetic tape-based Inter-bank GIRO system that has served Singapore well in the last 17 years.
eGIRO utilises browser-based technologies to allow banks to send and receive GIRO instructions electronically through a secured communication network to SACH. As the instructions will be transmitted electronically instead of being delivered physically via tapes and vouchers, shorter clearing cycles will be possible in the future, resulting in more efficient services for banks customers.