Singapore pilots next generation QR mobile payments service

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is testing an upgraded version of its SGQR unified QR payment code that will enable merchants to accept QR code payments made using a wider range of local and cross-border payment schemes through a single financial institution rather than having to maintain commercial relationships with individual payment scheme providers.

SGQR+ will also give consumers — including tourists and other foreign visitors — more payment options by enabling them to use both domestic and foreign payment applications to make QR code payments at merchants participating in the proof of concept trial.

Some 23 payment services providers including Mastercard, Visa, Alipay, LiquidPay, NETS, UnionPay, WeChat and XNAP are taking part in the month-long test.

“SGQR has become widely adopted by merchants as a simple and trusted solution to accept payments digitally. However, merchants that wish to accept a range of payment schemes  (local or foreign) need to maintain commercial relationships with different financial institutions,” MAS explains.

“Consumers and tourists can only use their preferred payment applications if the merchant maintains a specific commercial relationship with the financial institution that corresponds with those payment schemes.

Enhanced interoperability

“There is therefore scope to enhance interoperability for QR payment schemes.

“SGQR+ will increase the number of payment methods that merchants can accept. Merchants will only need to sign up with a single financial institution to unlock a diverse range of local and cross-border payment schemes.

“By aggregating multiple payment providers using SGQR+, merchants will no longer need to maintain commercial relationships with several financial institutions to accept different payment schemes.

“With SGQR+, consumers can look forward to using their preferred payment applications at more merchant acceptance points.

“Tourists can enjoy transacting conveniently using their native payment applications, as merchants empowered by the SGQR+ solutions will be able to easily accept more international payment schemes.”

MAS launched SGQR in September 2018.

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