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Cross-Border QR Code Payments Connectivity Launched Between Singapore and Malaysia

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) establish a cross-border QR code payment link between Singapore and Malaysia.

The payment linkage between MAS and BNM will allow customers of participating financial institutions to make retail payments by scanning the QR code of Singapore’s Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) and/or the QR code of the Malaysian financial institution DuitNow.

The application of QR codes in this instance is varied, and can either be displayed by merchants for processing in-person payments or displayed within an online setting for cross-border e-commerce transactions.

With pre-pandemic annual traffic between the two countries averaging 12 million visitors, the payment linkage is intended to provide merchants and consumers with a practical means to make and receive payments.

In this way, the execution of such an initiative promotes improvements to the cost, speed and access of 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.

This cross-border QR code payment linkage is made possible through the collaboration of various industry players from both countries, including the Association of Banks in Singapore and Payments Network (PayNet) Malaysia.

Next stages: P2P fund transfers

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 the end of 2023.

MAS managing director, Ravi Menon, comments: “The NETS-DuitNow 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,” concludes Menon.

BNM governor, Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, adds: “This is a significant step forward in realising 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 travellers. It will also be a boost to retail businesses in both countries.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to accelerate our digitalisation agenda towards increased regional economic and financial integration.”


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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