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Payment Rail Systems

Exploring NETS in Singapore

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NETS, short for Network for Electronic Transfers, is a fundamental pillar in Singapore's digital payment landscape. Renowned for facilitating seamless and efficient electronic transactions, NETS offers a range of services from direct debit to contactless payments. It caters to a variety of needs, including retail purchases, transport fares, and online shopping, making it an integral part of daily financial activities in Singapore. 


NETS was established in 1985 as a joint venture between Singapore’s major banks, designed to provide an electronic alternative to cash and checks in an era when digital banking was still in its infancy. It marked a significant technological leap in the financial sector, initially starting with electronic fund transfers at point of sale (EFTPOS) and gradually expanding its services. Over the years, NETS has evolved to include a wide array of payment solutions, such as NETS CashCard, NETS FlashPay, and eNETS for online transactions.

Business Scenario


  • Entities Involved: 'Orchard Electronics', a leading electronics retailer in Singapore, and 'TechSupply Co.', a supplier of electronic components.
  • Financial Institutions: Orchard Electronics banks with DBS Bank, and TechSupply Co. is associated with OCBC Bank.
  • Transaction Requirement: Orchard Electronics needs to make an urgent payment of SGD 20,000 to TechSupply Co.

Step-by-Step Process:

While NETS is a widely used and efficient payment system in Singapore, it does have certain limitations.

Costs Involved in the Transfer Process

The cost of using NETS for transactions is generally low, making it a popular payment option in Singapore. For consumers, transactions via NETS are typically free, or they incur minimal fees. However, for businesses, especially those that operate NETS terminals, there might be associated costs. These could include terminal rental fees, maintenance costs, and transaction fees charged by banks or payment service providers. The exact cost structure can vary depending on the service provider and the specific agreements with financial institutions.

Timelines for the Transfer

One of the key advantages of NETS is the immediacy of transactions. Payments made through NETS terminals are processed in real-time, allowing for instant transfer of funds from the payer’s account to the recipient’s account.


As Singapore continues to establish itself as a crucial nexus between the East and the West in the global economy, its strategic position has made it an attractive destination for international businesses. If you're operating without a physical entity in Singapore yet need to utilize NETS for seamless transactions with local suppliers and vendors, Finofo provides an ideal solution. By creating a free account with Finofo, you can effectively participate in the Singaporean market as a local entity, using NETS to its full potential. This allows you to strengthen your business ties and operate efficiently in this vital economic hub, making transactions as smoothly as any local Singaporean business.

Karthikeyan Sundaram