Bank Negara, Bank of Thailand team up on cross-border QR payment

The Bank Negara Malaysia logo is seen at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur January 23, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
The Bank Negara Malaysia logo is seen at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur January 23, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) have launched a cross-border QR payment linkage between Malaysia and Thailand to enable consumers and merchants in both countries to make and receive instant cross-border QR code payments.

In a joint statement, the central banks said the project, which commenced in June 2020, will be implemented in three phases.

“Today marks the completion of the first phase in linking the real-time retail payment systems (RPP), namely DuitNow in Malaysia and PromptPay in Thailand,” they said.

Under the first phase, users in Thailand can use their mobile payment applications to scan DuitNow QR codes to make payments to merchants in Malaysia, including for cross-border e-commerce transactions.

Under phase two, which is expected to go live in the fourth quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021), users in Malaysia will be able to use their mobile payment applications to scan Thai QR codes to make payment to merchants in Thailand.

Meanwhile, under phase three which is expected to go live in Q4 2022, the linkage will be expanded to include cross-border remittance, where users in both countries will be able to make real-time fund transfers by referencing the mobile phone number of the recipient.

BNM and BoT said the retail payment linkage between Malaysia and Thailand will serve as an important enabler to support post-pandemic economic recovery by further strengthening economic ties between participating countries.

The central banks said it represents a key milestone in the Asean Payment Connectivity initiative that promotes financial integration in the region through increased efficiency, reduced costs and improved user experience for cross-border payments.

BNM deputy governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said 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.

“It 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,” he said.

BoT deputy governor Ronadol Numnonda said the bank recognises the significance of cross-border payment system linkages and has continuously pursued such initiatives.

The collaboration between Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) and the National ITMX (NITMX) as payment system operators has made the project possible.

Meanwhile, CIMB Thai Bank and Public Bank Bhd are the first two banks to participate in this endeavour and have started offering instant cross-border QR code payment service to their customers. — Bernama

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