Google Pay Singapore: How to make the most of it

Elle Kasser

If you’re tired of rummaging about in your bag for cash or cards to spend on the go, Google Pay could be the ideal alternative. It helps you turn your phone into a contactless payment method, so you can tap to pay for shopping, public transport, food and drink and much more. You can also use Google Pay to send money to friends and family, and to shop online.

But does Google Pay work in Singapore, how do you use it and what benefits does it offer? We’ll answer these questions and more here in this handy guide. So let’s get started.

📝Table of contents:

What is Google Pay and how does it work?

Google Pay is a digital wallet, which has replaced Google Wallet and Android Pay in Singapore. You can link your existing methods of payment, such as your bank debit cards for example, to your Google Pay account. Then, you can spend easily online, in apps, and in person. You can also use Google Pay to transfer money to friends and earn rewards.

When shopping online, using Google Pay means you don’t need to enter your card or account details.

You can simply select Google Pay as a payment method when you get to the checkout. And in person transactions are easy too. Just use your phone to confirm payments, instead of needing to search for the right card in your wallet.

Google Pay works with PayNow, DBS PayLah! (which supports DBS, POSB and other bank accounts) OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered¹.

Google Pay and international transactions

You can use Google Pay for spending when you travel, as well as for shopping online in international stores. But you could still end up paying foreign transaction fees and other charges for overseas spending, depending on the payment type you use with Google Pay. This is why it’s always important to read the small print for your linked account or card in relation to international transactions.

Luckily, there is a way around this. You can avoid foreign transaction fees altogether by linking a multi-currency account like Wise to your Google Pay account, along with your Wise debit Mastercard. We’ll look at how to do this, and how it could save you money on overseas spending, in just a moment.

Learn more about Wise here 📖

Wise for sending money

What can Google Pay do: Google Pay benefits

With Google Pay, you can:

  • Spend in apps and online
  • Tap to buy tickets for bus and MRT journeys
  • Spend in participating stores using just your phone
  • Scan a PayNow SGQR code to pay instantly in a store
  • Send money to anyone with PayNow, if you have a linked OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank or DBS PayLah! account¹
  • Book movies online and order food for collection from participating restaurants
  • Earn instant rewards, discounts and cashback through the Google Pay app¹.

How to use Google Pay for MRT

Once you’ve set up your Google Pay account and linked payment methods to it, all you need to do to tap in and out of MRT is unlock your phone and hold it near the reader at the terminal.

You’ll see a check mark on screen confirming that the payment went through, and you’re on your way. You can do this on buses and trains across the whole of Singapore, wherever contactless payments are accepted.¹

And what about using Google Pay with EZ-Link? Before Google Pay came along, commuters would use an EZ-Link card to pay for public transport. However, the two don’t work together, and nor does Android Pay and EZ-Link - but you can now use Google Pay and your phone to tap and pay for buses and trains across Singapore instead. It’s just as easy, and that’s one less payment card or account to worry about.

Using Google Pay to pay merchants

There are a couple of ways you can use Google Pay to buy things in stores, or pay for things like restaurant meals.

The first is to use your phone just like a contactless debit card.

You can do this wherever you see the Google Pay and the Contactless symbols. At the register, simply unlock your phone and hold it near the reader until the check mark appears.

The second method is to pay with a PayNow SGQR Code.

If you see this at the register, you can use the QR scanner within the Google Pay app to scan the code. Then, you can simply enter the amount to pay and hit ‘confirm’. Alternatively, you can enter a PayNow Unique Entity Number (UEN).

Pay ahead at restaurants

A handy feature of Google Pay lets you order ahead at restaurants including Burger King, Simply Wrapps and Gastronomia¹. You can do it all through the app, searching for restaurants you want to order from, placing an order and paying with Google Pay.

Instant peer-to-peer transfers

Need to pay your share of a bill, or send a cash birthday gift to a friend? You can do it through PayNow. As long as you have a DBS PayLah!, OCBC or Standard Chartered Bank account¹ linked to your Google Pay account, you can send money to anyone using just their phone number. You can do it all through the app, including adding personalised messages and wrappers.

There are bonus features too, such as creating a group to split bills and checking when a payment has been made.

Wise multi-currency card with Google Pay

If you love to travel, or shop online with international retailers, it’s a smart choice to use Google Pay with a linked Wise multi-currency account. If you use Google Pay overseas using your ordinary bank or debit card, you could be hit with foreign transaction fees and currency conversion charges.

You can swerve all of this by using Wise instead. Here’s what to do - open a free Wise account, and then use your multi-currency card with Google Pay. You’ll be able to hold dozens of different currencies in your Wise account, and it’s always free to spend currencies you hold. That means no foreign transaction fees on spending with Google Pay when you’re overseas, or shopping online. If you do need to spend in another currency, you’ll only pay a tiny conversion fee.

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Google Pay can make life - or at least paying for things - just that bit easier. Once you’re all set up, you can effectively start using your phone as a contactless payment method. It’s perfect if you’re in a hurry, carrying heavy bags, or jumping onto the bus to get out of the rain. Happy shopping!

Sources used for this article:

  1. Google Pay Singapore - About page

Source checked on 14 June 2021.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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