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16 Feb 2019
Ministry of Finance
Suggestion View - 148
SMEs should switch to Fast e-payments

The recent spate of cases of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) employees defrauding their employers have invariably involved the use of company cheque books in the custody of rogue employees.

SMEs can reduce the risk of such fraud by switching from cheque to Fast and Secure Transfer (Fast) payments.

Employees now responsible for cheque preparation can be given "preparer" role and their employers, who now sign the cheques, can be the "approver" in a Fast payment.

All potential risks associated with cheque payments, such as the use of erasable ink or forged signatures, will be eliminated.

And as electronic approvals can be executed from anywhere in the world, employers will no longer need to pre-sign blank cheques when they travel, thus eliminating another major source of such fraud cases.

The banking system will be better off too, as it is much cheaper to process Fast payments than cheques.

Speaking to fellow SME owners, I have gathered that one reason for not adopting Fast is that every transaction is chargeable, while the first 30 cheque payments in a month is free.

In the light of the advantages of Fast, banks should treat these on an equal footing as cheque payments by giving each client a free allowance of 30 free Fast payments a month.

Cheng Shoong Tat


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