Free online check transfers via Citibank

Citibank customers in Singapore can now transfer funds via check to any individual or organization within the Republic through its online payment service called Pay Anyone.

shirleypeeCitibank customers in Singapore can now transfer funds via check to any individual or organization within the Republic through its online payment service called Pay Anyone. The service saves customers time and money as they no longer need to physically write and post a check.

The bank will process and mail checks to account payees at no cost.

In addition, the bank said its system automatically verifies the fund availability before executing the transaction. This way, customers do not have to pay a bounce check fee if there are insufficient funds in their accounts.

Pay Anyone is available to Citibank customers with a savings, checking or Ready Credit account.

Checks can be issued on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly basis and future-dated checks can be issued for up to a maximum of 60 days.

According to Shirley Pee, Citibank vice president of direct banking, the transfer limit is S$20,000 (US$11,100) a day, with no limits on the number of checks and payments a customer can make.

She said that it would take a day to clear an online check if the transaction is done before 10pm.

Meanwhile, the service also gives customers the option to transfer funds electronically into a payee's account. To do this, customers must provide the payee's bank account details.

Going beyond S'pore
Citibank regional e-commerce services director DK Sharma said that apart from Singapore, the new online payment service is only available in the US. When asked why Singapore was chosen, Sharma cited high computer literacy and Internet penetration rate in the island state as reasons.

He told reporters that there are plans to extend the service for transfers outside Singapore but did not reveal specifics.

However, Sharma said that Citibank was also looking at the possibility of rolling out the online payment service in countries including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia, without specifying any time frame.

To a question, Citibank country marketing director William Glickert declined to say how much was invested in developing the service.