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Indonesia and Singapore Collaborate on Cross-Border QR Code Payments

Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have started working on a cross-border QR payment linkage between Indonesia and Singapore.

This linkage, set to launch in the second half of next year, will let users make instant, secure and efficient retail payments by scanning the QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) or NETS QR codes displayed by merchants.

QRIS is the national standard of QR code payments in Indonesia. NETS QR is the QR code solution operated by Singapore electronic payment network NETS. QRIS and NETS QR allow merchants to accept payments from customers of different participating banks and e-wallet operators using a unified QR code.

The pair say the payment connectivity between the countries will empower individuals and businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises to conduct their cross-border trade, e-commerce and financial activities more efficiently.

BI and MAS have also agreed to promote the use of local currencies in bilateral transactions such as trade and direct investments. This is in line with ASEAN financial integration efforts to facilitate the wider use of local currencies in intra-ASEAN trade and investment settlement.

BI response

According to BI, during Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022 and ASEAN Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in April 2022, payment digitalisation and cross-border payments have become a priority agenda.

Perry Warjiyo, governor of BI, said: “This initiative links cross-border payments through the interconnection of national QR codes of payment between two countries, represents another milestone of the Indonesian Payment System Blueprint 2025, and also integrates with the framework to promote the use of local currencies.

“It provides more options for users in cross-border payment transactions and serves as a key to improving transaction efficiency, promoting digital economic and financial inclusion, and strengthening macroeconomic stability by promoting more extensive use of local currencies for bilateral transactions. Bank Indonesia believes that the initiatives mark a key milestone in strengthening bilateral financial cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia.”

MAS feedback

“The QRIS-NETS QR code payments connectivity is a milestone in ASEAN’s goal to establish regional payments integration by 2025 and support the vibrant cross-border trade corridors within the region,” says Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS.

“This linkage also aligns with the G20’s efforts to address existing frictions in global cross-border payments and support post-pandemic economic recovery and growth. The MOU to promote the use of local currencies for bilateral transactions complements the QRIS-NETS QR code payments connectivity as it will further facilitate the settlement of bilateral transactions between Singapore and Indonesia in their respective local currencies.”

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