The Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have announced a phased linkage of Malaysia’s DuitNow and Singapore’s PayNow for seamless transactions between 2 countries.
Under this plan, not only users can perform cross-border fund transfers in real time, but it also enables QR code payments for visitors from both countries.
According to the statement from BNM, the first phase of the DuitNow-PayNow linkage is set to launch in the 4th quarter of 2022 and this will allow customers of participating banks and financial providers to make real-time fund transfers between Malaysia and Singapore with just a mobile number.
“Customers will also be able to make retail payments by scanning DuitNow or NETS QR codes displayed at merchants’ storefronts.”
“The project will enable more seamless payments for the high volume of remittances between Malaysia and Singapore, which reached RM4.2 billion in 2020.” BNM said.
In addition, the integration is said to cover Malaysia’s DuitNow QR as well as Singapore’s NETS QR. This feature will allow Singaporean visitors to use their existing mobile apps to perform QR payments at merchants in Malaysia that display the DuitNow QR code.
Similarly, Malaysians can perform transactions with a DuitNow QR-supported mobile banking or eWallet app can also make cashless payments when they scan NETS QR at merchants in Singapore.
Nonetheless, this is a significant milestone in the history of close ties between Malaysia and Singapore. This linkage is said to be align with G20’s work of driving faster, cheaper, more inclusive and more transparent cross-border payments, and is a concrete step towards achieving an ASEAN network of linked real-time payment systems.
BNM Assistant Governor Fraziali Ismail said “By bringing the efficiencies observed in domestic payments to cross-border payments, the DuitNow-PayNow linkage will be a game-changer resulting in faster, cheaper, and more accessible payment services for the people of both countries. Not only would this initiative further strengthen the economic ties between Malaysia and Singapore, but it would also serve as a key enabler to support post-pandemic economic growth.”
Meanwhile, the MAS Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said “For Singapore, the remittance corridor with Malaysia is our largest remittance corridor; hence, the DuitNow-PayNow linkage will be an important infrastructure to support cross-border payment needs of individuals and businesses, as well as the growing digital economic activity between both countries. This will further enhance close bilateral ties.”
Back in June 2021, BNM and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) have worked on a seamless cross-border payment linkage between the 2 countries. However, as of now, Thais were able to make by scanning DuitNow QR codes after, but Malaysian users will have to wait until Q4 2021 to be able toperform Thai QR payments in Thailand.