In a significant leap forward for financial connectivity and economic collaboration, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) have joined forces to launch a real-time payment systems linkage between Singapore's PayNow and Malaysia's DuitNow. Simultaneously, Bank Indonesia (BI) and MAS have unveiled a cross-border quick response (QR) payment linkage between Indonesia and Singapore. These groundbreaking initiatives are set to transform cross-border payments, fostering economic integration and enhancing convenience for users in the two regions.

PayNow-DuitNow Linkage: A Milestone in Cross-Border Transactions

Instant, Secure, and Cost-Effective Transfers

The PayNow-DuitNow linkage allows for person-to-person (P2P) cross-border fund transfers, enabling users to transfer funds instantly using only the recipient's mobile phone number or Virtual Payment Address (VPA). This real-time payment system is not only secure and cost-effective but also marks the first participation of non-bank financial institutions from both countries, expanding access to a broader user base.

Phased Rollout for Enhanced Familiarization

To ensure a smooth transition, the service will be introduced in a phased approach. Singapore customers of Liquid Group, Maybank Singapore, OCBC, and UOB will progressively gain access, while in Malaysia, the service will first be available for CIMB, Maybank, and TNG Digital users.

Collaboration for Regional Payments Interconnectivity

The PayNow-DuitNow linkage is the result of extensive collaboration among central banks, payment system operators, scheme owners, and participating financial institutions. It aligns with the ASEAN Payment Connectivity Initiative and the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments, marking a crucial milestone in improving cost, speed, access, and transparency of cross-border payments.

QRIS-NETS QR Payment Linkage: Boosting Economic Connectivity

Seamless Cross-Border Retail Payments

The cross-border QR payment linkage between Indonesia and Singapore enables customers of participating financial institutions to make seamless retail payments by scanning QR codes displayed by merchants in both countries. This initiative is a significant step toward greater integration of the digital economy, fostering economic connectivity between the two nations.

Local Currency Settlement Framework

Bank Indonesia and MAS have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to establish a local currency settlement framework. Operationalized in 2024, it will facilitate settlement in local currencies for cross-border payments, reducing exchange rate risks and costs for businesses and users.

Industry Collaboration for Success

The QRIS-NETS QR payment linkage is the result of strong industry collaboration, involving BI, MAS, the Indonesian Payment System Association (ASPI), RAJA, Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), and participating financial institutions.

Final Remarks

The launch of these cross-border payment linkages is a testament to the commitment of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia to foster economic integration and enhance financial connectivity. These initiatives not only streamline cross-border transactions but also lay the groundwork for scalable payment networks across the ASEAN region and beyond. As users from both countries stand to benefit from increased cost-effectiveness, inclusivity, and accessibility, these groundbreaking developments underscore a new era of financial collaboration in Southeast Asia.