eGIRO for credit cards: What’s the hold up?

eGIRO launched in November 2021, but to date none of the major card issuers are on board. How can dis b allow?

In November 2021, the Association of Banks in Singapore launched eGIRO, a service that aims to fully digitise the current paper-based GIRO process. 

I was delighted by the announcement, because one of the biggest headaches for miles chasers is setting up a new GIRO arrangement every time you get a new credit card (and believe me, you’ll be getting a lot of them). It always amazed me that 20 years into the new millennium, filling up paper GIRO forms and sending them via post was still the SOP. 

In recent months, I’ve set up eGIRO arrangements for AIA, Aviva, CPF and StashAway, and it’s taken me no more than a couple of minutes each time.

But I’ve yet to set up a single eGIRO arrangement for a credit card.

That’s because it simply isn’t an option- not for American Express, not for Citibank, not for DBS, not for UOB. In fact, the list of eGIRO billing organisations includes just two credit card issuers: BOC and ICBC, neither known to be a driving force for innovation!

Even BOC now supports eGIRO. BOC!
❓ Reminder: eGIRO setup
To set up eGIRO, you need to visit the participating billing organisation’s app or website. So if I want to pay my BOC credit card with a DBS bank account, I visit BOC’s ibanking portal, not DBS’s.

Why pay credit card bills via GIRO?

I’ve heard people saying that they prefer to pay their credit card bills manually, because “it reminds me of how much I’m spending each month”. Fair enough, but unless you’re very disciplined about doing it, it also creates the possibility you’ll forget a payment and incur late charges plus interest.

And if you do, that pretty much negates the value of any miles or cashback you may have earned through the card (not to mention the potential impact on your credit score).

It’s for that reason I make it a habit to set up a GIRO arrangement for each of my cards, as soon as I get it in the mail. Since I have close to two dozen cards (some of which see heavier use than others), you can imagine what a nightmare it’d be to make all payments manually. 

Moreover, setting up GIRO arrangements for your credit card bills can earn you bonus interest or cashback: 

  • BOC SmartSaver offers an additional 0.9% p.a. on the first S$100,000 when paying at least three GIRO bills of min. S$30 each per month
  • HSBC EGA offers 1% cashback on GIRO bill payments, capped at S$300 per month for HSBC Personal Banking and S$500 per month for HSBC Premier
  • Maybank SaveUp considers GIRO bill payments as one category for earning bonus interest, with a min. S$300 paid per month
  • StanChart Bonus$aver offers an additional 0.33% p.a. on the first S$100,000 when paying at least three GIRO bills of at least S$50 each per month
  • UOB One offers up to 3% p.a. on the first S$75,000 when paying at least three GIRO bills and spending at least S$500 on an eligible card (e.g. UOB Lady’s Card) per month

That’s free money sitting right there, and you’d be silly not to take it. 

What’s the timeline?

I’ve asked my contacts at a few local banks about the timeline for eGIRO credit card payments, only to be told each time it’s “still on the roadmap”. No one’s been willing to provide even a rough window. 

I find it hard to understand why this hasn’t been made a priority, because unlike some existing eGIRO billing organisations where payments are made as infrequently as once a year, you’d think credit cards and their monthly payment cycles would be a perfect use case. 

Mark this as one of life’s big mysteries then…

Conclusion

It’s been almost a year and a half since the launch of eGIRO, and to date the only credit card issuers on the platform are BOC and ICBC. All the big players are conspicuously absent, which means you still need to resort to paper forms and snail mail to set up payment arrangements for your new cards. 

For goodness’ sake, it’s 2023, people.

Anyone knows why eGIRO’s taking so long to come to credit cards?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

21 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

21 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas

The reason they are dragging their feet is because they earn money from missed payments. If they make it easier for people to automatically pay their bills they will cut into their credit card revenue. It’s not in their interest to make it easy for people to pay their bills.

Ben

Came here to say this. And there are lots of other digitisation efforts that come ahead such as getting rid of cheques.

Ke Ke

That could be true. But how does this gel with the face that the cc issuing banks themselves are encouraging me to sign up for GIRO?

I have been slow to do so cos manual payment offers a modicum of protection against Annual Fee and Fraud charges. It is generally easier to deal with aannual fees or fraudulent charges when monies are not paid than to claw back monies already paid.

eGIRO might be the best of both worlds on the assumption that I can terminate it as quickly as I set it up.

Thomas

Take HSBC for example, they are trying to encourage you to pay other bank’s cards with your HSBC account. They aren’t giving that 1% cashback for paying HSBC’s own credit cards by GIRO.

I guess the hope here is that you would leave more money in your HSBC account for those GIRO payments, therefore there isn’t much incentive for the other banks to make it easy for you to set up eGIRO since it does not benefit them. Same goes for other banks, they want you to pay someone else’s cards.

RandomR

The trick for HSBC is that the payment for their own cards is not a GIRO, it is a standing instruction.

So you’ll need to think creatively for that one.

MARK

While I note the point about a missed payment, as a general principle, I *never* give anyone else authority to debit my account. EVER. If there are ever charges I don’t agree with, if the money remains in my account, dealing with the issue is normally way easier than if the money has been taken from your account and you wish to get it back. Be it Giro for a credit card bill, or any other type of bill, Nah – I will take the downside risks of manual payment, thanks.

Wintereise

Amen to that. It’s really not difficult to unify the billing dates for all your cards, and then paying it all off on some specified date in the month together.

Rondo

I’d never use Giro to pay credit card bills either way, as this leaves me susceptible to annual fees and fraud charges. I just have Giro set up to pay smaller bills for my bonus interest.

Jac

Agree with the rest. I rather pay early or miss a payment/seek wavier rather than Giro and not check my bills. I tend to pay on a fixed date mthly. So, it means paying earlier sometimes for certain cards where I cannot set pay later. But beats not checking the charges I get.

Elson

I use SAM machine/ AXS machines to earn Link points and GooglePay cashback (if lucky) for bill payments. Not much but every bits counts.

R Q

For what it’s worth, DBS allows you to set up a GIRO arrangement to pay DBS credit cards within iBanking itself, not sure about other credit cards – would check but their ibanking is down! Pure speculation here, but I’m wondering whether the fact that there are two options in the GIRO billing for credit cards is the issue (minimum payment or full payment), and also the fact that minimum payment is the higher of two variables (3% or $50). So maybe these giro orders have a different slower workflow, or need to be manually processed like a normal paper… Read more »

Mike

We all share the same sentiment that paying via giro is not preferred. Aaron in this instance is an outlier.

K P

I’ve set up GIRO for all my credit cards. Never had an issue. Even when there were errors in the bill (rarely), or annual fees charged and subsequently waived, everything got reconciled the following month.

It’s not only about convenience; it’s also about HSBC’s amazing 1% cashback on all GIRO payments. And with Citi’s fee free Payall, even the non GIRO-able expense (eg my old fashioned MCST) now earns 1% cashback,

Charles

How does the fee free pay all earn 1 per cent Cashback ?

K P

Pay your Citi credit card bill with GIRO from HSBC EGA.

intransitmostlikely

Singapore banking is light years behind. I’ve been able to do this with UK banks for over 25 years. It’s astonishing to me that Singapore is able to maintain any kind of competitiveness. I guess the bar is set pretty low in SE Asia, but it certainly means that Singapore is completely irrelevant internationally.

dkdk

I would say that Singapore banking isn’t very technologically advanced until around 5 years ago or so, let alone 25 years ago.

You can’t expect Singapore to overtake UK bank when the nation itself was just around 50 years old…arent u expecting a bit too much?

L T

Age isn’t everything. London has one of the oldest subway systems in the world. Not too difficult for others to overtake that.

Last edited 1 year ago by L T
RandomR

I use GIRO, and as I work in a bank, I don’t get where all the hesitation about fraud or missed payments come from – just escalate to MAS, banks can’t charge you for nonsense. What I suspect is they are purposely doing this because they want you to giro with their own bank e.g. DBS card to DBS account, OCBC to OCBC account, etc. So, they just purposely make it leh chey to GIRO to another bank. Just like how it’s technically not that hard to close an account, but they throw in so much hassle so you just… Read more »

Timothy

Mostly from the milo tin can under the bed crowd I guess? I can’t live without GIRO payments either, it’s my “insurance” against forgetting to make a payment, which has a way higher likely hood of happening than the bank refusing to waive a fraudulent payment or upcoming annual fee.

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

7,110FansLike
10,902FollowersFollow

TAGS