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Singapore to test interoperable QR Code scheme

Singapore to test interoperable QR Code scheme

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is launching a proof of concept (POC) for an interoperable Singapore Quick Response Code Scheme (SGQR+).

The POC, to be conducted from 1 to 30 November 2023, will explore the feasibility of enabling merchants in Singapore to accept QR payments from a variety of payment schemes through a single financial institution.

The introduction of SGQR in 2018 successfully combined multiple payment QR codes into a single SGQR label. However, merchants that wish to accept a range of payment schemes need to maintain commercial relationships with different financial institutions. Consumers and tourists can only use their preferred payment applications if the merchant maintains a specific commercial relationship with the financial institution that corresponds with those payment schemes.

During the POC, SGQR+ will be rolled out with 23 payment schemes, across more than 1,000 merchant acceptance points at the venue of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and in the Changi district.

The POC will be conducted through two separate tracks featuring different technology options.

Track I is led by Liquid Group, which will operate a switch that processes payments between the financial institution serving the merchant and the financial institution serving the consumer. Consumers will also be able to use payment applications linked with credit cards to scan and pay at Liquid Group’s participating merchants.

Track II is led by Nets, which will allow consumers to scan and pay at Nets’ participating merchants with a variety of local and foreign payment schemes. This technology is currently available to merchants that are part of the Government-subsidised Hawkers Go Digital programme. The POC will test the commercial feasibility of deploying this across other merchant segments as a commercial service.

Banking Computer Services Pte Ltd, the operator of the SGQR Central Repository, will manage the POC and provide technical support to the POC participants.

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS, says: “SGQR+ is a significant leap in interoperable QR payments. It will streamline payment acceptance for merchants and substantially increase the number of merchant acceptance points for both local and foreign consumers to use their preferred e-wallet or banking application. The POC launch paves the way for Singapore to become a global leader in QR payments and a potential QR payments hub.”

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