Bank Negara, MAS launch cross-border QR code payments connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have launched a cross-border QR code payment linkage between Malaysia and Singapore.

The payment linkage would allow customers of participating financial institutions to make retail payments by scanning DuitNow QR and NETS QR codes.

The central bank said the DuitNow-NETS QR code payment linkage is a key milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore to enhance cross-border payment connectivity.

BNM governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the cross-border QR code payment linkage 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 travelers.

"It will also be a boost to retail businesses in both countries. We will continue to work closely with our partners to accelerate our digitalisation agenda towards increased regional economic and financial integration," she said in a statement.

According to BNM, the initiative is a testament to both countries’ commitment to improving the cost, speed, access, and transparency of cross-border payments, in line with the Asean Payment Connectivity Initiative and the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments.

With pre-pandemic annual traffic between the two countries averaging 12 million visitors, BNM said the payment linkage would provide merchants and consumers with a more seamless and efficient means to make and receive payments.

The central bank said the payment linkage would support in-person payments through the scanning of physical QR codes displayed by merchants, and online cross-border e-commerce transactions.

The service is made possible through the strong collaboration of various industry players from both countries, including Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), Network for Electronic Transfers (Singapore) Pte Ltd (NETS), the Association of Banks in Singapore, and participating financial institutions from both countries.

In the next phase, BNM and MAS plan to expand the payment linkage to enable cross-border account-to-account fund transfers and remittances, which would allow users to make real-time fund transfers between Malaysia and Singapore conveniently using just the recipient’s mobile phone number via DuitNow and PayNow.

The service is expected to go live by end-2023, said BNM. - Bernama

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