Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have launched a cross-border QR code payment linkage between Malaysia and Singapore. This payment linkage will allow customers of participating financial institutions to make retail payments by scanning DuitNow QR and NETS QR codes, Bank Negara said in a statement on Friday.

“It will support in-person payments through the scanning of physical QR codes displayed by merchants, and online cross-border e-commerce transactions,” the central bank added.

The DuitNow-NETS QR code payment linkage is a key milestone in the on-going collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore to enhance cross-border payments connectivity. With pre-pandemic annual traffic between the two countries averaging 12 million visitors, the payment linkage will provide merchants and consumers with a more seamless and efficient means to make and receive payments.

This initiative is testament to both countries’ commitment to improve 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, the central bank said.

According to BNM, this cross-border QR code payment linkage 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. This will 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. This service is expected to go live by end-2023.

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said, “This is a significant step forward in realizing 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 digitalization agenda towards increased regional economic and financial integration.”

Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon, said, “The DuitNow-NETS QR code payment linkage is the latest addition to Singapore’s growing set of cross-border payment linkages. These linkages will help boost cross-border commerce and enable our merchants, especially small businesses to tap on a wider pool of consumers. This QR code linkage between Singapore and Malaysia is an important milestone in ASEAN’s journey towards seamless regional payments connectivity.”

Malaysia, Indonesia central banks launch cross border QR payment linkage