Seven mobile wallets, acquirers and payment networks, including Diners Club, EZi Wallet, EZ-Link, Liquid Pay, Mastercard, UnionPay International and Wirecard, have formed a consortium to help push the adoption of a single QR code-based payment scheme in Singapore.
The formation of the coalition comes just two months after Singapore's Payments Council endorsed the specification for a common QR code that can accept electronic payments by both domestic and international payment schemes, e-wallets, and banks.
The new SG QR was developed by an industry taskforce co-led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority and is set for adoption and deployment through 2018.
The consortium's aim is to ensure interoperability for payments with cards and mobile wallets across Singapore's merchant network by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
Ian Lee, founder of EZi Technology, says: “This initiative will go a long way in easing the confusion faced by merchants and consumers in adopting QR payments. It also enables local fintech start-ups like us, to compete and thrive in a supportive eco-system that we hope will propagate to the rest of the industry. The end goal for us is to ensure that Singaporeans, whether merchants or consumers, will have a choice of service providers for QR payments with the least amount of hassle.”
Singapore's banks have also committed to update their mobile payment apps for consumers to read the SG QR. The Association of Banks in Singapore has already pledged to convert its PayNow mobile app - supported by seven local banks - to offer customers the option of P2P funds transfers using the unified QR.
Singapore's efforts coincide with a similar push in Thailand, India and now Egypt where the central bank has today issued electronic acceptance criteria for payments through a standardised QR Code.