Singapore and Malaysia foster financial synergies with payments linkage

Singapore and Malaysia are set to begin a phased linkage of their two payment systems to support faster transactions between the two countries.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has revealed the two regions are expected to commence the linkages of Singapore’s PayNow system with Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payments platform.

According to MAS, the first phase of the linkage is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2022. This linkage is expected to enable customers of both financial institutions to make real-time fund transfer between Singapore and Malaysia through using nothing more than a mobile number.

Furthermore, customers will be able to perform retail payments by scanning NETS or DuitNow QR codes that are displayed on the storefronts of merchants.

The project will allow for more seamless payments for the large amount of remittances between the two countries – currently at S$1.3bn in 2020.

Earlier this year, MAS teamed up with the Reserve Bank of India’s Unified Payment Interface to allows users to make simple, quick, low-cost fund transfers on a equal basis without needing to onboard onto another payment system.

MAS chief FinTech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said, “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.

“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.”

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