Malaysia and Thailand launches cross border QR payments

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) launch a cross-border QR payment linkage between Malaysia and Thailand.

Inclusion Times
Inclusion Times

Last month we reported that cross border payment between Singapore and Thailand is now possible thanks to the partnership between the Thai central bank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Now, one of those countries has entered into a partnership with Malaysia.

On Friday, Malaysia and Thailand launched a cross-border QR payment linkage between Malaysia and Thailand. Under this arrangement, buyers and sellers in both countries now can make instant cross-border QR code payments. Launched in June last year, the project will be done in three phases. Yesterday's program launch means the first phase in linking the real-time retail payment systems of RPP/ DuitNow in Malaysia and PromptPay in Thailand has been completed.

In phase one, users in Thailand can now use their mobile payment applications to scan DuitNow QR codes to make payment to merchants in Malaysia, including online cross-border e-commerce transactions. Phase two of the program is expected to go live in the fourth quarter of 2021. In this phase, users in Malaysia will be able to use their mobile payment applications to scan Thai QR codes to make payment to merchants in Thailand.

The last phase of the program, which is expected to go live in the fourth quarter of 2022, will be expanded to include cross-border remittance. This means that users in both countries will be able to make real-time fund transfers conveniently by referencing the recipient's mobile phone number.

What key players are saying

“The retail payment linkage will enhance the efficiency and convenience of cross-border payments by providing users with faster, cheaper, and more inclusive payment arrangements. This will give more options for consumers and merchants in the cross-border payment space and serve as a key enabler to strengthen regional connectivity and financial integration.” Mr. Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, Deputy Governor of BNM.

“The BOT recognizes the significance of cross-border payment system linkages and has continuously pursued such initiatives. This connectivity builds on our domestic payment infrastructure which will facilitate cross-border retail payment activities between the two countries during and after the pandemic. More importantly, it will also facilitate the cross-border trade and e-commerce, thus contributing to economic growth and digitalization.” Mr. Ronadol Numnonda, Deputy Governor of the BOT

Although only two banks have participated in the linkage and started offering the instant cross-border QR code payment service to their customers, more payment service providers are expected to join in providing such service, thus expanding the network of users and merchants.

Malaysia in focus

GDP: $364.681 billion compared to Singapore's $372.063 billion in 2019

Population: 31,949,777 compared to Singapore's 5,703,569 in 2019

GDP per capita: $11,414 compared to Singapore's $65,233 in 2019

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