GIRO has evolved as one of the most efficient interbank fund transfer methods in Singapore, appealing to both privately held and governmental organizations. A part of this achievement can be attributed to the ease of their setup and termination.  

While there are plenty of resources online outlining the steps to set up GIRO arrangements, the termination process is seldom discussed. Interestingly, GIRO arrangements are just as easy to terminate as they are to set up. 

But how is the termination carried out? 

Nowadays, the process of GIRO termination is largely carried out online. Any of the two businesses in a GIRO arrangement, regardless of whether the arrangement is for payment collection or disbursal, retain the right to initiate a termination request. 

  • The process is generally as follows: 

1. The bank’s Internet banking portal would need to be accessed by the GIRO account holder. Some banks may not offer the GIRO termination feature in their banking apps. Thus, access to a computer is essential.  

2. Account holder will need to navigate to their GIRO account management section and locate the option to terminate an existing GIRO arrangement. 

3. They will then be prompted to select the specific GIRO arrangement they wish to discontinue and provide details like the account numbers involved. 

If a business owner can’t request termination online, they should visit their bank to discuss its alternatives and perhaps submit a paper-based form. 

Nonetheless, the business requesting GIRO termination should inform other entities involved about the action.  

For instance, the Ministry of Manpower imposes levies on businesses that employ foreign workers or migrant domestic workers. This is done to regulate the inflow of foreign workers in Singapore, and a levy is imposed for each work pass holder employed. GIRO is a popular payment method that businesses use to pay this obligation. While it is possible for a business to terminate a GIRO arrangement with the Ministry of Manpower by directly contacting the bank, the Ministry requires every employer to submit an online termination form before contacting their bank. This form is directly submitted to the Ministry and catalyzes record-keeping to ensure compliance. Consequently, it steers businesses clear of any legal consequences that would’ve followed if a levy was terminated without prior notice to the Ministry. 

Similarly, many businesses can have specific forms for record keeping. Businesses are advised to contact their clients or vendors to inquire if they have a similar requirement. 

  • Does it cost money? 

No, banks usually don’t charge anything for terminating GIRO arrangements. 

  • How long does it take? 

Banks would require a buffer to complete the termination process. This may take a few days. To paint a realistic picture, let’s consider this example: 

If a business wants to terminate a GIRO arrangement effective for March, they should ideally request the termination by the 20th of February at the latest. This allows sufficient time for the bank to process the termination request before the start of March. However, it’s important to note that the exact cutoff date may differ across different banks and organizations managing the GIRO arrangements. 

  • Best Practices for GIRO Termination: 

1. Request early: Businesses should not wait until the cutoff date set by the bank or organization to request a termination.  

2. Inform and follow up with others: Before terminating a GIRO arrangement, businesses should inform other entities about it. But the responsibility doesn’t end there. Once a business has gotten the termination approval, it must confirm with other entities if they’re in sync, too. This eliminates misunderstandings. 

3. Monitor account: If a business has requested GIRO termination, but the amount is still getting deducted, they should promptly contact their bank. 

4. Check additional formalities: Some businesses may explicitly require an additional record-keeping procedure. Thus, businesses should check with other organizations involved in the arrangement. 

5. Update internal records: If a business is switching to an alternate payment method in place of GIRO, it must ensure that its accounting systems are updated and aligned accordingly. 

The Bottom Line

Termination of GIRO arrangements is a fairly straightforward process. A simple login to the bank’s portal and an online form submission usually suffice to initiate termination. However, some organizations may require additional procedures for internal operations. Businesses should always request GIRO termination ahead of time and keep other entities in sync with the status of the request.  

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