Singapore and Indonesia launched cross-border payment services Friday, the countries’ central banks said, as part of a regional drive to boost connectivity.
Customers of a dozen banks in Singapore and Indonesia will now be able to make payments to merchants in both countries by scanning QR codes, Bank Indonesia and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a joint statement.
The system “will promote cross-border e-commerce activities and tourism spending across Singapore and Indonesia”, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said in the statement issued on Friday.
In the first half of 2023, over a million travelers entered Singapore from Indonesia — the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the fourth most populous country in the world with 270 million people.
The two central banks will also establish a framework to allow cross-border payments to be settled in local currencies in 2024, the statement said.
Singapore has already established QR payment service links with China, Malaysia, and Thailand.
“Users around the world should be able to send money across borders in a secure, efficient and affordable way,” Menon said in a speech at the Singapore FinTech Festival earlier this week.
Singapore and Malaysia also announced a new service on Friday that enables people in the neighbouring countries to send instant payments across the border, MAS said in a joint statement with Malaysia’s central bank.
Singapore already has similar services with Thailand and India.