Global: Singapore and Malaysia Launch Real-Time Payment Systems Linkage

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) have jointly introduced a real-time payment systems linkage connecting Singapore’s PayNow and Malaysia’s DuitNow. This initiative builds upon the earlier QR payment linkage announced on March 31, 2023, facilitating cross-border QR payments to merchants. The PayNow-DuitNow linkage enables instant, secure, and cost-effective peer-to-peer fund transfers and remittances between the two countries. Notably, it is the first real-time payment systems linkage involving non-bank financial institutions from both nations, offering broader access to users. The phased rollout will allow customers of participating institutions to send and receive funds of up to S$1,000 or MYR3,000 daily using mobile phone numbers or Virtual Payment Addresses (VPAs).

This collaboration is a significant step in enhancing the cost, speed, access, and transparency of cross-border payments, aligning with the objectives of the ASEAN Payment Connectivity Initiative and the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments. In 2022, peer-to-peer and remittance transactions between Singapore and Malaysia amounted to S$2.3 billion/MYR7.8 billion.

MAS Managing Director Mr. Ravi Menon expressed, “The PayNow-DuitNow linkage is the culmination of a shared aspiration by Singapore and Malaysia to facilitate cross-border payments between the two countries. This linkage represents another step towards ASEAN’s vision for regional payments interconnectivity.” BNM Governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour highlighted the benefits of fast, secure, and cost-efficient cross-border payments for individuals and small businesses in countries with close economic ties. The PayNow-DuitNow linkage aims to leverage these benefits for shared growth and prosperity while laying the foundation for scalable cross-border payment networks in and beyond ASEAN.

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