S'poreans can now scan QR codes to pay merchants in M'sia & Indonesia

Singaporeans can pay retail merchants in Indonesia by scanning QR code payments, and make "real-time" person-to-person funds transfers to merchants in Malaysia.

Brenda Khoo | November 18, 2023, 12:13 PM



Forgot to bring along your credit card or cash while traveling to our neighbours this December holidays?

You can now use your smartphones to pay retail merchants by scanning QR codes in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Singaporeans can now make cross-border QR code payments in Indonesia while PayNow users can make "real time" person-to-person funds transfers in Malaysia, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Nov. 17.

'Real-time' person-to-person transfer of funds now possible in M'sia

Singaporeans who have a PayNow account can now make "real-time" person-to-person cross-border funds transfers in Malaysia using mobile numbers and virtual payment addresses, according to a joint release between MAS and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Singaporeans can make daily transfers of up to S$1,000 or RM3,000 to merchants in Malaysia if he/she is a customer of:

  • UOB
  • OCBC
  • Maybank Singapore
  • Liquid Group (non-bank financial institution)

DBS and Malaysia's Hong Leong Bank will join at a later date.

The linkage allows customers to make "instant, secure, and cost-effective person-to-person fund transfers and remittances" between Singapore and Malaysia, according to MAS and BNM.

This is the "first time" that users of non-bank financial institutions are allowed to take part in this linkage, the joint statement added.

Singaporeans have been allowed to use NETS cards in Malaysia since 2018, while QR code payments were subsequently rolled out in March 2023.

The upgraded linkage now aims to enhance the "cost, speed, access and transparency" of payments between Singapore and Malaysia.

It is also part of an ongoing collaboration between both countries to enhance cross-border payments connectivity.

In 2022, S$2.3 billion in person-to-person and remittance transactions were made between both countries, according to the joint release.

'Seamless' retail payments via scanning QR code in Indonesia

OCBC and UOB customers from Singapore can now make "seamless" cross-border retail payments with merchants in Indonesia, according to a joint media release between MAS and Bank Indonesia (BI).

They can do so by scanning QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) displayed by merchants in Indonesia.

Likewise, DBS will be joining at a later date.

Retail customers from Singapore can now have "greater payment convenience" while visiting Indonesia.

More people are travelling between Singapore and Indonesia since pandemic restrictions had been lifted in both countries.

In the first half of 2023, 600,000 people travelled from Singapore to Indonesia, while 1.1 million people from Indonesia visited Singapore.

Meanwhile, "micro and small businesses" in both economies can also gain access to new customers.

Boosting economic connectivity, the linkage is a "significant milestone". It also aims to "promote greater integration of the digital economy and financial ecosystem" between Singapore and Indonesia.

The launch comes a year after both MAS and BI announced that the creation of a cross-border linkage was in progress.

Local currency framework to establish between S'pore & Indonesia

MAS and BI also said that they had signed a letter of intent to "establish a local currency settlement framework".

When operationalised from 2024 onwards, the framework aims to facilitate cross-border payments between Indonesia and Singapore using their respective local currencies.

It is also expected to "reduce" the exposure of businesses to exchange rate risks and liabilities.

Top image from Canva.

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