Central Banks of Malaysia and Thailand Launch Cross-Border QR Payment Linkage

Jul 2021

The central banks of Malaysia and Thailand have collaborated to launch a cross-border Quick Response (QR) payment linkage which enables consumers and merchants in both countries to make and receive instant cross-border QR code payments. This collaboration signifies a key milestone in the ASEAN Payment Connectivity initiative to promote financial integration in the region and will be an important enabler to support post-pandemic economic recovery by strengthening economic ties between participating countries further.

The project commenced in June 2020 and will be completed in three phases.

  • The first phase which was completed in June this year enables users in Thailand to use their mobile payment applications to scan DuitNow QR codes, Malaysia’s national QR code solution that allows merchants to accept payments from customers of different participating banks and e-wallets operators using a unified QR code, to make payment to merchants in Malaysia, including for online cross-border e-commerce transactions.
  • The second phase, which is expected to go live in the fourth quarter of 2021, will enable the same for users in Malaysia using Thailand’s QR codes, PromptPay. This service is expected to benefit more users in both countries when international travel resumes, as they can make payments using their mobile payment applications instead of using cash.
  • Full functionality is expected to go live by the fourth quarter of 2022, with the completion of the third phase covering cross-border remittance. Through this final phase, users in both countries will be able to make real-time fund transfers conveniently by just referencing the mobile phone number of the recipient.

This project is made possible with the collaboration of various stakeholders from both countries including the Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) and the National ITMX (NITMX) as payment system operators, as well as banks in the CIMB Group as the settlement banks that are responsible for the settlement of cross-border transactions performed via the QR payment linkage between Malaysia and Thailand. CIMB Thai Bank and Public Bank Berhad are the first two banks participating in the linkage to offer the instant cross-border QR code payment service to their customers. More payment service providers are expected to join the bandwagon, further extending the network of users and merchants in the two countries.

(Sources: Bank Negara Malaysia; Tech Wire Asia; The Business Times)

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