Access Alert: Singapore announces cross-border payment links with Indonesia and Malaysia

Access Alert: Singapore announces cross-border payment links with Indonesia and Malaysia

Singapore announced cross-border payment links with Indonesia and Malaysia at the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) 2023 on 17 November 2023.

Between Singapore and Indonesia, a cross-border QR code payment linkage was jointly launched by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon and Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Perry Warjiyo. Customers of participating financial institutions in both countries can make seamless cross-border retail payments using their existing mobile banking applications to scan QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) or NETS QR codes displayed by merchants in Indonesia and Singapore, respectively. This linkage will help promote cross-border e-commerce activities and tourism spending across Singapore and Indonesia by individuals and small businesses.

Between Singapore and Malaysia, a real-time payment (RTP) systems linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and Malaysia’s DuitNow was jointly launched by Ravi Menon and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour. Consumers of participating financial institutions in both countries are now able to send and receive funds of up to SGD 1,000 or MYR 3,000 daily by using the recipient’s mobile phone number or Virtual Payment Address. MAS and BNM said this linkage will improve the cost, speed, access, and transparency of cross-border payments between Singapore and Malaysia, including SGD 2.3 billion in person-to-person and remittance transactions last year.

Both linkages are significant milestones in promoting greater integration of the digital economy and financial ecosystems between Singapore and Indonesia and Malaysia, respectively. With cross-border payments emerging as a priority area of growth in ASEAN, both initiatives also represent strong progress in advancing ASEAN ambitions to promote faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive cross-border payments. In November 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Regional Payment Connectivity was initiated by the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to improve cross-border payments, with the central bank of Vietnam joining the initiative in August 2023. Such developments are in line with international efforts, such as the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-Border Payments.

Access Partnership is closely tracking developments in the digital economy, FinTech, and digital payments and is working on measuring cross-border payment developments in ASEAN. If you would like a briefing and more information on these issues, please contact Sarah Lee at [email protected] or Royston Wah at [email protected]

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