Out-Law News 1 min. read

Singapore and Malaysia real-time payment systems to link in 2022

Users of Singapore’s PayNow and Malaysia’s DuitNow payment systems will be able to carry out real-time cross-border transfers using a mobile number from next year.

The first stage of a plan linking the two systems will be rolled out between September and December 2022, according to an announcement by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Users by then will be able to make retail payments by scanning QR codes for DuitNow or Singapore’s Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) service at stores.

Mark Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “Singapore is clearly no stranger to such linkage of real-time payment systems between countries, given that it has previously announced plans for similar linkages of real-time payment systems with other countries such as Thailand and India. It comes as no surprise that Singapore is actively participating in such linkages of real-time payment systems with other countries, given its advanced economy that is constantly transforming its payment infrastructure, and its support for the establishment of a Southeast Asia network of linked real-time payment systems.”

“This latest development is clearly a step forward in this regard and will likely have the added benefit of further strengthening economic ties between the two countries,” he said.

Once launched, MAS and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will expand the scheme to offer more features and include more participants. The two central banks will also work on the feasibility of integrating distributed ledger technology and other innovative solutions to improve efficiency of “payments clearing and settlement between participating banks”, MAS said.

The PayNow-DuitNow linkage is intended as a step towards an integrated network of linked real-time payment systems across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, MAS said.

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