The central banks of Indonesia and Singapore have commenced work on a cross-border QR payment linkage between the two countries as part of a wider Asean-wide connectivity efffort.
Targeted for launch in the second half of 2023, the project will enable interoperability between Indonesia's QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) and Singapore's NETS QR standard.
Merchant displaying either code will be able to accept payments from customers of different participating banks and e-wallet operators using a unified QR code.
The effort is expected to support tourism growth as international travel resumes. There are sizeable traveller flows between the two countries - 1.9 million arrivals in Indonesia from Singapore and 3.1 million arrivals in Singapore from Indonesia.
As part of the initiative, Bank Indonesia and the Monetary Authority of Singapore also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the use of local currencies in bilateral transactions such as trade and direct investments. This is in line with Asean financial integration efforts to reduce reliance on the US dollar and facilitate the wider use of local currencies in intra-Asean trade and investment settlement.
Bank Indonesia governor Perry Warjiyo, comments: “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."
The linkage between Singapore and Indonesia follows a successful roll out between the latter country and Thailand. The central banks of the Philippines and Malaysia are also planning to link their respective systems with their regional neighbours.