KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plan to begin a phased linkage of Malaysia’s DuitNow and Singapore’s PayNow real-time payment systems.

BNM said the first phase of the DuitNow-PayNow linkage would be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022 and would allow customers of participating financial institutions to make real-time fund transfers between Malaysia and Singapore using just a mobile number.

“Customers will also be able to make retail payments by scanning DuitNow or NETS QR codes displayed at merchants’ storefronts.

“The project will enable more seamless payments for the high volume of remittances between Malaysia and Singapore, which reached RM4.2 billion in 2020,” it said in a statement today.


The central bank said the project would also cater to travellers between both countries, which saw sizeable pre-pandemic traffic of about 12 million arrivals yearly on average.

Following the launch, BNM and MAS will progressively expand the DuitNow-PayNow linkage to incorporate a wider range of features and participants.

“Both regulators will also explore the feasibility of integrating innovative features such as distributed ledger technology-based solutions to catalyse greater efficiencies in payments clearing and settlement between participating banks,” it said.


BNM said the DuitNow-PayNow linkage represented another significant milestone in the history of close ties between Malaysia and Singapore.

“The linkage closely aligns with the Group of 20’s work of driving faster, cheaper, more inclusive and more transparent cross-border payments, and is a concrete step towards achieving an Asean network of linked real-time payment systems,” it said.

BNM assistant governor Fraziali Ismail said this initiative would further strengthen the economic ties between Malaysia and Singapore, as well as serve as a key enabler to support post-pandemic economic growth.

MAS chief FinTech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said the DuitNow-PayNow linkage would 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. ­— Bernama