Singapore-Indonesia QR payments connectivity commences

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Indonesia (BI) have commenced work on a cross-border QR code payments opportunity between the two nations as part of the first stage of the ASEAN payments connectivity effort.

Set to launch in the second half of 2023, the connection will allow users to make “instant, secure and efficient” retail payments by scanning the Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard (QRIS) or NETS QR codes displayed by merchants.

The connectivity will develop the capabilities of businesses including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to conduct cross-border trade and e-commerce activities, as well as grow the tourism sector – with 5 million combined arrivals recorded between the two countries.

“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.”

BI and MAS have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the use of local currencies in bilateral transactions, also as part of the ASEAN financial integration efforts to increase the use of local currencies in intra-ASEAN trade.

“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,” Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said.

“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.”