SINGAPORE – The central banks of Indonesia and Singapore have officially launched a cross-border QR payment link, a major step forward in financial integration between the two Southeast Asian nations. This new system allows users to make retail transactions seamlessly across borders by scanning QR codes through mobile applications, specifically QRIS in Indonesia and NETS in Singapore.
The initiative, which went live today, is part of a broader effort to support economic integration and digital connectivity within the region, with a particular focus on empowering micro and small businesses to expand their customer bases globally. international. It aligns with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vision for regional payments connectivity and is in tune with Indonesia’s Payment Systems Plan 2025.
In addition to the QR payment system, Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for a local currency settlement framework that is expected to begin in 2024. This framework is designed to reduce exposure to exchange rate fluctuations and complements an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from August 2022, which aimed to promote ASEAN financial integration through the use of local currencies for intra-ASEAN trade .
The MAS underlines the importance of this payment link in boosting cross-border e-commerce and tourism spending, which have shown significant growth post-COVID. The implementation of the Local Currency Transactions Framework (LCT) next year will further facilitate trading by providing direct quotes of local currency exchange rates through ACCD banks.
This pioneering project has been reinforced by development partnerships with several financial institutions, including ASPI, the RAJA consortium (comprising Rintis, Artajasa, Jalin) and Alto Network for Electronic Transfers. With travel statistics indicating a rebound earlier this year, these systems are seen as crucial to creating more inclusive payment options that adapt to the changing landscape of regional commerce and mobility.
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