Singapore and Malaysia link faster payment systems

Posted: 27th September 2021

Fresh from a faster payments link-up with India, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced plans to commence a phased linkage of the country’s PayNow plumbing with Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payment systems.

The first phase of the PayNow-DuitNow linkage will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022. This will allow customers of participating financial institutions to make real-time fund transfers between Singapore and Malaysia using just a mobile number. Customers will also be able to make retail payments by scanning NETS or DuitNow QR codes displayed at merchants’ storefronts.

The project will enable more seamless payments for the high volume of remittances between Singapore and Malaysia, which reached S$1.3 billion in 2020.

The Malaysian hook-up comes shortly after a similar tie-up with The Reserve Bank of India’s Unified Payment Interface, enabling users to make instant, low-cost fund transfers on a reciprocal basis without a need to get onboarded onto the other payment system.

In July, the Bank for International Settlements and the Monetary Authority of Singapore published a blueprint for the multilateral linking of domestic real-time payement systems across borders.

Titled Project Nexus, the model envisages the creation of ‘Nexus Gateways’ that serve to coordinate compliance, foreign exchange conversion, message translation and the sequencing of payments among all participants. It builds on the bilateral linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay, launched in April 202

Future developments in the Malaysian partnership could include shared projects on distributed ldeger technology and smart contracts, says Sopnendu Mohanty, chief finTech officer of MAS.

“Singapore’s remittance corridor with Malaysia is our largest remittance corridor; hence, the PayNow-DuitNow 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,” he says. “The linkage also offers MAS and BNM a valuable opportunity to incorporate the use of distributed ledger and smart contract technologies in the wholesale cross border payments space.”

Categories: Banking
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