Every country seems to maintain a different QR code standard. That makes lie confusing for tourists and foreigners who want to complete payments through this technology. Thankfully, things are improving in Singapore and Indonesia, as the national QR code standards will be linked.
Unifying the QR Code Standards
The initiative by the central banks of Indonesia and Singapore can set the tone for broader unification efforts. Establishing a cross-border QR payment standard is a solid move that will benefit many people. Although similar efforts are underway to connect the ASEAN region through QR codes, this is one of the first large-scale initiatives. If everything goes to plan, the unified QR payment link will be established in Q2 2023.
Thanks to this effort, Indonesia’s QRIS and Singapore NETS standards will become interoperable. It is a big boon for merchants, as they can display either code to accept customer payments through participating banks and e-wallet operators. As is always the case, the overall participation by banks and e-wallet service providers will make or break this QR code unification effort.
Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo explains:
“This initiative links cross-border payments through the interconnection of national QR codes of payment between two countries, represents another milestone of the Indonesian Payment System Blueprint 2025, and also integrates with the framework to promote the use of local currencies. It provides more options for users in cross-border payment transactions and serves as a key to improving transaction efficiency, promoting digital economic and financial inclusion, and strengthening macroeconomic stability by promoting more extensive use of local currencies for bilateral transactions.”
The effort by Indonesia and Singapore comes on the heels of Indonesia and Thailand linking their QR code standards. Similar efforts by the central banks of the Philippines and Malaysia are underway. Establishing a truly unified system will take a while, but things are progressing in the right direction. More importantly, these changes will benefit merchants, consumers, and tourists alike while paving the way for bilateral transactions between participants.