Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have announced a phased linkage of DuitNow and PayNow for seamless transactions between the two countries. Not only consumers can perform cross-border fund transfers in real-time but it also enables QR code payments for visitors from both countries.
According to BNM’s statement, the first phase of the DuitNow-PayNow linkage will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022. This would allow customers of participating banks and financial providers to make real-time fund transfers between Malaysia and Singapore with just a mobile number. In 2020, the total volume of remittances between Malaysia and Singapore has reached RM4.2 billion.
On top of that, the integration will also cover Malaysia’s DuitNow QR as well as Singapore’s NETS QR. This will allow Singaporean visitors to use their existing mobile apps to perform QR payments at merchants in Malaysia that display the DuitNow QR code. Similarly, Malaysians with a DuitNow QR-supported mobile banking or eWallet app can also make cashless payments when they scan NETS QR at merchants in Singapore.
BNM’s statement added that the DuitNow-PayNow linkage represents another significant milestone in the history of close ties between Malaysia and Singapore. The linkage closely aligns with the G20’s work of driving faster, cheaper, more inclusive, and more transparent cross-border payments, and is a concrete step towards achieving an ASEAN network of linked real-time payment systems.
BNM Assistant Governor Fraziali Ismail said “By bringing the efficiencies observed in domestic payments to cross-border payments, the DuitNow-PayNow linkage will be a game-changer resulting in faster, cheaper, and more accessible payment services for the people of both countries. Not only would this initiative further strengthen the economic ties between Malaysia and Singapore, but it would also serve as a key enabler to support post-pandemic economic growth.”
MAS Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said “For Singapore, the remittance corridor with Malaysia is our largest remittance corridor; hence, the DuitNow-PayNow linkage will be an important infrastructure to support cross-border payment needs of individuals and businesses, as well as the growing digital economic activity between both countries. This will further enhance close bilateral ties.”
In June 2021, BNM and Bank of Thailand (BOT) have launched cross-border QR payment linkage between Malaysia and Thailand. Under phase 1, Thai users can use their mobile app to scan DuitNow QR codes to make payments at merchants in Malaysia. Under Phase 2 which is expected to go live in Q4 2021, Malaysian users will be able to use their online banking or eWallet app to scan PromptPay QR codes to pay merchants in Thailand.
DuitNow QR is currently supported by most banks as well as eWallets which include Boost, Grab, Touch ‘n Go eWallet and ShopeePay. The feature allows merchants to display just one QR code to accept payments from various platforms.
DuitNow which allows fund transfers between accounts using a phone or identification number is currently fully supported by banks only. Touch ‘n Go eWallet has recently started accepting DuitNow transfers which allow users to receive funds from 3rd party bank accounts. However, it is only a one-way process as you still can’t transfer out funds from your TNG eWallet via DuitNow. However, there’s an option to transfer funds to a bank account via its Go+ investment feature.
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