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Singapore, Malaysia Launch Unified QR Code for Cross-Border Payment

The central banks of Singapore and Malaysia on Friday launched a unified Quick Response (QR) code to power cross-border retail payments between both countries. The code was created by linking Malaysia’s national QR code solution, DuitNow QR, with the NETS QR code operated by Singapore’s Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore Pte. Limited (NETS).

Usage of the code is currently limited to customers of financial institutions that participated in the linkage, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysia's central banker, announced on Friday without disclosing the participating institutions. However, the apex authority listed industry players such as the Payments Network Malaysia Sdn. Bhd (PayNet), NETS, and the Association of Banks in Singapore, as industry players involved in the linkage.

The unified code will also permit in-person payments via scanning of physical QR codes of merchants to make payments between both countries. The code will also support online cross-border e-commerce transactions, the Malaysian top financial regulator said.

Central Bankers Eye Account-to-Account Remittance

Speaking on the launch, BNM noted that the linkage will boost cross-border payments connectivity between Singapore and Malaysia.

“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,” BNM explained.

The apex financial regulator further explained that the initiative proves both countries' dedication to improving the cost, speed and transparency of their cross-border payments in line with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Payment Connectivity Initiative and the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments.

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