Singapore and Malaysia launch cross-border QR code payments system

Duitnow acceptance of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia cross-border QR code payments graphic
INTEROPERABLE The QR code payments systems operated by Nets in Singapore and DuitNow in Malaysia have been linked to enable cross-border contactless transactions

Residents of Singapore and Malaysia can now make contactless QR code-based payments for goods and payments in either country using an interoperable cross-border payments system launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The system allows customers of participating financial institutions to make in-store retail payments by scanning physical QR codes displayed by merchants when visiting the other country. It also supports online cross-border ecommerce transactions.

“In the next phase, MAS and BNM plan to expand the payment linkage to enable cross-border account-to-account fund transfers and remittances. This will allow users to make real-time fund transfers between Singapore and Malaysia conveniently using just the recipient’s mobile phone number via PayNow and DuitNow. This service is expected to go live by end-2023,” the two central banks explain.

The system has been enabled by linking QR code payments systems operated by Nets in Singapore and DuitNow in Malaysia and “will provide merchants and consumers with a more seamless and efficient means to make and receive payments”, the banks add.

MAS, BNM and the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand revealed plans to develop an interoperable cross-border payments system across all five Asian countries in July 2022.

BNM and the Bank of Thailand rolled out real-time cross-border QR payments between the two countries in June 2021.

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