Malaysia, Singapore Launch Cross-Border QR Code Payment Connectivity
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(Image: TODAY)

Malaysians travelling to Singapore will now be able to pay for their purchases by scanning the Singaporean NETS QR code using their mobile banking app or e-wallets, with Singaporean travellers coming to Malaysia being able to do the same with the DuitNow QR code as well. This comes as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) successfully launch the cross-border QR code payment linkage between both countries.

BNM said that this effort – which is a long-time coming as it has been in the works since 2021 – is made possible through the collaboration of various industry players from both countries. These include Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet), Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore (NETS), the Association of Banks in Singapore, and participating financial institutions from both countries.

Meanwhile, the list of Malaysian banks, e-wallets, and financial service providers that have enabled support for cross-border payments for Singapore as of the end of March 2023 include:

  • AmBank
  • CIMB Bank
  • Hong Leong Bank
  • Maybank
  • Public Bank
  • UOB
  • Boost
  • Touch ‘n Go Digital (TNG eWallet)
  • Razer Merchant Services

BNM also said that this payment linkage is expected to provide merchants and consumers with a more seamless, effective, and transparent means of making and receiving payments. It is also in line with the ASEAN Payment Connectivity Initiative and the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-Border Payments.

“This is a significant step forward in realising the vision of an ASEAN network of fast, efficient, and interconnected retail payment systems. The QR linkage between Malaysia and Singapore will benefit millions of commuters across the Causeway as well as business and leisure travellers. It will also be a boost to businesses in both countries,” said the governor of BNM, Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. Aside from Singapore, Malaysia also has enabled bilateral payment linkages with Thailand and Indonesia since 2022.

(Image: PayNet)

In a follow-up to this latest success, BNM said that it plans to work with MAS to expand the payment linkage to include cross-border account-to-account fund transfers and remittances. This essentially means that Malaysians and Singaporeans will be able to make real-time fund transfers just by using the recipients’ mobile phone number via DuitNow and PayNow – similar to how we do it with Malaysian phone numbers at present. This service is expected to be enabled by the end of 2023.

The Malaysia-Singapore QR payment linkage also came closely at the heels of the success of Project Nexus, an initiative that sought to test the possibility of developing a network that can link instant payment systems from countries all over the world without compromising on their differences. Announced in November 2021, the project involved the early collaboration of three central banks – BNM, MAS, and the Bank of Italy (Banca d’Italia) – along with other payment service operators.

(Source: BNM)

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