Southeast Asian Central Banks to Connect Payment Systems via QR Code

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Central banks in Southeast Asia hope to link payment systems across the region this year using QR code technology.
Perry Warjiyo, Governor of the Bank of Indonesia, stated in a panel discussion on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Bali that by November, five of the region’s largest economies are scheduled to sign a deal to integrate their networks, Singapore’s Business Times reports.

Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand are already linked, while Singapore is linked to Thailand and is looking to expand.

Payments made in Thailand using an Indonesian app will be converted directly into the  rupiah and baht, eliminating the need for US dollars as an intermediary.

The central banks will attempt to connect this network with other regional clusters around the world, and eventually apply the same structure to real-time bank transfers and central bank digital currencies.

“This can be a deeply impactful move that we can build to the rest of the world,” Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director Ravi Menon told Bloomberg at the same panel in Bali.

“It’s a public good infrastructure which improves financial inclusion, enhances efficiency and creates new business opportunities for all citizens,” he said.

In Laos, several banks have already adopted QR Code payment systems, with forays being made into links with Thailand.