paylah vs paynow(1)

PayLah! Or PayNow: Which One Is The Best Choice For You?

Singapore has become a digital-driven nation. There has been a significant push towards a digital and cashless environment to adapt to the current times. Given this, it is no surprise that money transfer apps and digital wallets have significantly gained popularity in recent years.Fund transfer apps and their peer-to-peer (P2P) capability allow you to do faster and secure money transfers via your smartphone 24/7. While there are several unique benefits to using electronic fund transfers, each app has consumer-specific offers to its users.

Both PayNow and PayLah! let you do fund transfers. While they may sound the same, each has its unique features. Read on as we explain the difference between two of Singapore’s most popular fund transfer apps.

PayLah! Vs. PayNow

Features Paylah! PayNow
Fund transfer ✓; plus mobile wallet
App Integrated with banking app
Transfer limit per day S$2K for DBS or POSB account holders S$999 all other users S$200,000
Access smartphone Smartphone / desktop
Pay peers and participating merchants
Bills Payment
Required Info Mobile number or QR code Mobile number or NRIC /FIN


What is PayLah!?

PayLah! is a popular mobile wallet app from DBS/POSB that allows you to save, receive payments, and transfer money. To make necessary payments to 3rd party accounts, you will need to make top-ups from DBS/POSB or other bank accounts. The app is available to DBS/POSB account holders and Singaporean or permanent residents via a SingPass account. 

It is pretty widespread that you may have seen it all around Singapore. Let’s learn more about PayLah! and its features.

How Do You Use Paylah!?

PayLah! transactions are instant as funds are sent and received within a few minutes. Plus, you don’t need to register under other apps to send money instantly to anyone, even to non-PayLah! users. 

Receiving Money

To receive money, you need to use the request payment feature of the app. This feature allows you to send request notifications to your contacts, PayNow users included.

Sending Money

Sending funds is done thru a few quick clicks. Just key in your recipient’s mobile number or account, enter the amount, and click “proceed to pay.”  DBS and POSB account holders can transfer funds up to S$2000, while all other users can transfer up to a limit of S$999.

Features And Benefits

1. Make Easy, And Quick Transfers

Make transfer funds using only the recipient’s phone number via the FAST fund transfer feature. Complete your transactions quickly without keying in too much information like bank account number, account name, etc.

2. Convenient Top-up Methods

There are relatively easy ways to top up your mobile wallet. For those with DBS/POSB accounts, you can activate the auto-debit feature via the PayLah! App or digibank. By doing this, you will also earn rewards and qualify for DBS/POSB promos.

The rest may top-up through SG Fast bank accounts via a mobile banking platform.

3. Can Be Used In Conjunction With Google Pay

To use this feature, link your DBS PayLah! account under your GooglePay account. You can now pay any one of your contacts via your DBS PayLah! account. 

4. Enhanced Security Features

Users will be required to create a unique 6-digit alphanumeric password. And depending on your device, you can either log in via fingerprint  ID or touch ID. 

Being the most used money transfer app in Singapore, developers have enhanced its security features to protect its users. Developers added a one-time-pin and biometric scan features for an extra layer of security.

5. Supports PayNow

You can also send money to accounts registered only under the PayNow app. Funds will be credited to the PayNow linked bank account and credited as a PayNow transaction.

6. QR Code Scanning

Make cashless payments via QR code scanning at over 180,000 merchants Singapore-wide. You can even use it to pay for taxi fares or meals at hawker stalls. 

7. Online Payments And Perks

Use your PayLah! app to pay bills, order meals, book tickets, and much more. Get cashback rewards from participating merchants like 7Eleven, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gong Cha, and more. You can also conveniently monitor card rewards and points through the PayLah! app.

How Do You Register For Or Set Up Paylah!?

Note that you will need to be above 16 years old to register for a PayLah! account. If not, you may ask your parents to register an account for you via Parent’s Singpass. Here’s how to make an account with PayLah!:

  1. Download the app on your smartphone through GooglePlay or AppStore. 
  2. After download, launch the app and key in your DBS or POSB bank details. 
  3. You will also need to register a unique Singapore-registered mobile number.
  4. Enter all necessary information, check and review terms and conditions, and click on agree.
  5. Review all data, and once ready, click done, and your account is good to go.

What is PayNow?

PayNow allows you to send and receive Singapore Dollar funds from a bank or a digital wallet to a supported 3rd party account through an internet banking platform. It is a peer-to-peer (P2P) fund transfer facility offered by financial institutions in Singapore. Participating banks include Bank of China, Citibank Singapore Ltd., DBS/POSB, HSBC, ICBC Ltd., Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered, UOB.

On the other hand, participating non-bank institutions include Singtel Dash, GrabPay, and LiquidPay. 

How to Use PayNow

PayNow is best used to split bills with friends, buy and sell transactions, or pay anyone. It is also ideally used to send funds to your child by linking their birth certificate number or NRIC to their PayNow account.

Sending and receiving funds has never been easy with PayNow via internet banking apps. For PayNow, you won’t need to download a separate app. To make instant transfers, you need to launch your digibank app and key in the recipient’s mobile number, Company Unique Entity Number (UEN), or NRIC / FIN. 

You can use the PayNow feature to send money to anyone with an existing account at the participating bank or non-bank institution. On the other hand, you can receive money from other applications that support PayNow (e.g., PayLah!).

Features And Benefits

1. Quick Fund Transfer Transactions 

Just key in the mobile phone number and use the FAST fund transfer feature to complete your PayNow transfers.

2. PayNow Corporate

PayNow extends its services to more than just retail customers but also businesses, corporate, and government entities. Transfer money and receive funds instantly by linking their Unique Entity Number (UEN) with their Singapore banks.

3. PayNow QR

QR code payments are made available thru mobile banking applications or apps of participating non-bank financial institutions. This QR code is also integrated with the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR).

4. VPA Proxy

In addition to existing PayNow proxies, UENs, mobile numbers, or NRICs, a VPA proxy is now available to link mobile numbers with their NFI wallet or bank account.

5. QR Codes

Make payments via your banking app or mobile app by scanning the PayNow logo. You can also make QR purchases via the QR code scanning feature.

6. Higher Transfer Limits

PayNow has a cumulative daily limit set at S$1000. Still, you can make transfers higher than this amount. You can transfer up to a maximum amount of S$200,000 following the industry limit. Note, however, that large transfer amounts would require tighter security measures.

This limit also applies to PayNow QR.

How To Register For PayNow

PayNow is an integrated P2P feature of the online banking platform of the nine participating banks. The same goes for the three non-bank mobile apps. There is also no minimum age required, and you need to complete a few simple steps to register. 

  1. Log in to your digital mobile app or online banking app. 
  2. Tap on the Pay and Transfer button.
  3. Choose PayNow and create a PayNow profile.
  4. Register your UEN, mobile number, or  NRIC/FIN.
  5. Enter a nickname and link to your digibank account or preferred bank account.
  6. Review submitted information and tap on the register button.

Which Among PayLah!, Pay Anyone or PayNow Should You Use?

lady pointing which is better paylah or paynow


PayLah! is the best option for DBS or POSB account holders who like to do all their fund transfer transactions online. Another advantage for DBS/POSB customers is that you can transfer up to S$2,000 per day. Non-DBS/POSB customers can only transfer up to a daily limit of S$999.

The PayLah! app works as a one-stop lifestyle portal that lets you do all the things you love like dining, shopping, and bills payment and lets you earn points for these. You don’t need to download another app to send payments to non-PayLah! Users.

DBS or POSB PayLah! and OCBC Pay Anyone are both lifestyle apps that work similarly to the other. Likewise, OCBC customers should go for Pay Anyone if they want to maximize their OCBC account’s features. Like PayLah!, this app allows OCBC customers to pay anyone, make QR purchases, and enjoy lifestyle perks and benefits. 

Lastly, PayNow is best for individuals who prefer to use their savings accounts’ balances to pay for anything. This option is also best for beginners already familiar with using online banking. Moreover, PayNow is a fuss-free option for those who do not want to access another app to send and receive payments.

Quick FAQs

1. Is PayLah! And PayNow safe to use?

Both platforms are safe to use and require an OTP sent to the registered number to proceed with any transaction. OTPs will also be required when you log in from a different device.

2. How do I use Pay Anyone?

To use OCBC Pay Anyone fund transfer features, download the app, register, and use similarly like PayLah! Setting up the Pay Anyone app will take less than five minutes. If you have an OCBC account, you can even withdraw cash at an OCBC ATM within the limit of S$1000. 

3. Do I benefit from using these platforms?

Yes! PayLah! And Pay Anyone users can maximize perks and benefits like cashback, rewards, and top-up options if they are account holders from DBS/POSB or OCBC, respectively.  Discounts and other promotions for purchases are also offered from time to time. Taking advantage of these benefits could save you money in the long run. 

4. What to do If you mistakenly transfer funds to an unintended recipient?

Contact your bank right away, so they can be informed of the erroneous transfer and help you recover your funds back. You should also notify the unintended recipient of the wrong transfer and politely request them to return the funds.


Times have changed, and with the Covid19 situation, we needed to adjust the way we do things.  Online platforms like PayNow, PayLah!, and even Pay AnyOne allow us to do online transactions and pay anyone in a breeze. 

Key takeaways:

  • While we worry about security problems like making an accidentally wrong transfer or cyber hacking, enhanced protection features are designed to help us.
  • We need to be extra cautious about doing transactions and, as much as possible, never share sensitive info with anyone.
  • Choose a fund transfer app that incorporates all your financial needs and benefits in one.

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