If you’re someone who frequently travels to Singapore, you’re probably already familiar with having to bring with you either their local currency or arrange with your bank to allow foreign transactions on your credit or debit card. However, Bank Negara has since confirmed that cross-border DuitNow QR payment with Singapore is now live. This means that Malaysians travelling to Singapore can make instant retail payments simply by scanning the Singaporean NETS QR code displayed at participating merchants, while Singaporeans can do the same when in Malaysia with DuitNow QR too.
According to the Maybank website for instance, you can now make a QR payment when you’re in Singapore. Simply be on the look out for their NETS QR payment code, scan it with the MAE app and you’ll be prompted to key in the payable amount in the foreign currency—SGD in this case. You’ll then get a payment confirmation screen with both the SGD and MYR amount displayed on the app just before payment goes through. You might also have to authorise the payment though if the amount is more than RM250 (~SGD75.30). Once all of that’s done, you’ll get the payment acknowledgement receipt.
Maybank’s website does note some restrictions for now though. For starters, the daily transaction limit for cross-border DuitNow QR transactions is RM1,000 or equivalent to RM1,000 in foreign currency, which is SGD301.18 for Singapore at the moment; you will however be able to change the daily limit to a lower amount if you wish. The cross-border DuitNow QR is also only application for DBS and UOB Bank via SG QR in Singapore at the moment. You can only select your current and savings account as your source of funds too, and your MAE app will need to be on version 9.4 or newer to access this feature. It’s also worth noting that there might be a slight mark up on the exchange rate to cover for the usage of the cross-border QR payment service.
Across the straits, UOB Singapore’s website also has a similar support page showing users how to use the UOB app to scan and pay with DuitNow QR codes for Singaporeans in Malaysia. This means that DuitNow QR and SG QR now has two-way compatibility, giving citizens of both countries easy ways to pay for stuff when travelling around. Singapore becomes the third country to have cross-border QR payment with Malaysia, joining Thailand and Indonesia.
This is all part of the Project Nexus plan to link up the QR payment system in various countries in the region, carried out by Bank Negara Malaysia and Payment Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd, better known as PayNet. In the latest BNM Annual Report for 2022, Bank Negara notes that they have already established bilateral cross-border payment linkages for QR payments with Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, allowing Malaysians travelling to these countries to make instant payments to businesses via QR codes and vice versa, though at the moment the cross-border QR payment system is only live in Singapore.
“This project has tremendous potential for the region. Consumers would be able to enjoy cheaper, faster and more transparent payment and fund transfers among the participating countries in the future. It can also strengthen intra-regional trade and economic cooperation, and spur greater innovation in the payments space.
Ultimately, it is envisaged to set the global benchmark for next-generation payment infrastructure that can be used by all, for cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments,” – Bank Negara Malaysia, Annual Report 2022
Back in 2021, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Monetary Authority of Singapore had announced that they aimed to launch the first phase of the cross-border QR payment system in late 2022. The BNM Annual Report for 2022 states that Malaysia is currently working with the Philippines to enable bilateral cross-border QR payments with the latter too. In total, there are already seven bilateral cross-border QR payment systems in Southeast Asia: Cambodia-Thailand, Indonesia-Malaysia, Indonesia-Thailand, Malaysia-Thailand, Malaysia-Singapore, Thailand-Singapore, and Thailand-Vietnam.