Grab becomes first eWallet to support Malaysia’s unified QR code system

Grab has just announced a partnership with Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet), which will see GrabPay become the first eWallet to feature DuitNow QR as a payment method in Malaysia. Currently, four banks in Malaysia offer the DuitNow QR service within their mobile apps, although a number of banks are expected to follow suit over the next 6 months or so.

Essentially, DuitNow QR will do away with the need for merchants to display multiple QR codes to receive payments through different eWallets/payment methods. It functions as an interoperable, common QR code that will handle transactions through multiple eWallets/bank payment options.

According to Peter Schiesser, PayNet Group CEO:

“At the moment, e-Wallet providers are incurring substantial acquiring costs for merchants since they are each signing up the same set of merchants for their respective proprietary networks. With DuitNow QR, a merchant needs to sign up with only one Bank or e-Wallet acquirer, and customers of all participating Banks and e-Wallets would be able to make DuitNow QR payments to the merchant using their respective mobile apps.”

DuitNow is a name that has been around in the fintech scene for awhile now, having been launched in December 2018. The DuitNow QR service is basically an extension of the DuitNow service, which allows for customers to make funds transfers using recipients’ phone, MyKad, or business registration numbers.

DuitNow QR is established under Bank Negara Malaysia’s Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF). As such, PayNet, as Malaysia’s shared payment infrastructure provider, is mandated to work on implementing a common QR standard in Malaysia.

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Broadly speaking, the DuitNow QR service appears similar to the SGQR unified payment QR code introduced in Singapore last year. And according to Grab, we won’t have to wait too long for DuitNow QR to be incorporated into the GrabPay app—the first half of 2020 is the target.

It’s worth noting that the interoperable service will only be as good as the number of banks/eWallets registered. However, another 15 eWallet providers and non-banks have also followed suit in registering for the DuitNow QR service, according to Grab.