Soon, two people between Singapore and Malaysia can send each other money using just their mobile numbers.
To be launched in the fourth quarter next year in phases, Singapore’s PayNow and Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payment systems will be linked.
Customers will also be able to make payments by scanning the NETS or DuitNow QR codes at retail shops and eateries, the central banks of Singapore and Malaysia announced in a joint statement today.
This could facilitate an increase in cross-border remittances and is a sign of both countries’ commitment to boost tourism spending when it returns to the picture in the near future.
“The project will enable more seamless payments for the high volume of remittances between Singapore and Malaysia, which reached S$1.3 billion in 2020. It will also cater to travellers between both countries, which saw sizeable pre-pandemic traffic of about 12 million arrivals yearly on average,” both central banks said in the joint statement.
“Singapore’s remittance corridor with Malaysia is our largest remittance corridor; hence, the PayNow-DuitNow 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,” added Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of Singapore’s central bank.
More features in the works
Following the launch, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Bank Negara Malaysia will progressively expand the PayNow-DuitNow linkage to incorporate a wider range of features and participants.
Both regulators will also explore the feasibility of integrating innovative features such as distributed ledger technology-based solutions to catalyse greater efficiencies in payments clearing and settlement between participating banks.
The PayNow-DuitNow linkage represents another significant milestone in the history of close ties between Singapore and Malaysia, the central banks said.
The linkage closely aligns with the Group of 20’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.
In mid-September, Singapore’s central bank announced plans to link with India’s unified payments interface by July 2022. Before that, in April, the Singapore central bank said it was linking PayNow with Thailand’s PromptPay.
Featured Image Credit: BNS, Pile
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