Thailand, Singapore launch world's first linkage of real-time payment systems

Thailand, Singapore launch world's first linkage of real-time payment systems
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BANGKOK (April 29): The Bank of Thailand (BoT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today launched the linkage of Thailand’s PromptPay and Singapore’s PayNow real-time retail payment systems.

In a joint statement, the BoT and MAS said the linkage, the first of its kind globally, will enable customers of participating banks in Thailand and Singapore to transfer funds of up to S$1,000 or 25,000 baht daily across the two countries, using just a mobile number.

“There will be no need to populate information fields such as the recipient’s full name and bank account details, as with normal remittance solutions.

“The transfers will be completed within a matter of minutes, representing a marked improvement over the average of one to two working days needed by most cross-border remittance solutions,” they said.

The participating banks in Thailand are Bangkok Bank, Kasikornbank, Krung Thai Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank. In Singapore, DBS Bank, OCBC, and United Overseas Bank will be providers.

The PromptPay-PayNow linkage is a key collaboration under the ASEAN Payment Connectivity that was initiated in 2019. It is an extensive collaboration between the BoT and MAS, both countries’ payment system operators, bankers’ associations, and participating banks.

According to the joint statement, the BoT and MAS will progressively scale the PromptPay-PayNow linkage to include more participants and extend the transfer limits to facilitate business transactions.

Meanwhile, BoT governor Dr Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the service by MAS and BoT would effectively address customers' long-standing pain points in the area of cross-border transfers and remittances including long transaction times and high costs.

“Today’s PromptPay-PayNow linkage represents another key milestone in our digital payments journey.

“With the success of PromptPay, our domestic payment system, we have sought to enhance cross-border linkages with ASEAN and other countries and have launched our QR cross-border payment connectivity with Japan, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam,” he said.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon, meanwhile, said MAS’ shared objective with BoT is to work with their ASEAN counterparts to expand this bilateral linkage into a network of linked retail payment systems across ASEAN.

“With the rise of the digital economy, we want to empower individuals and businesses in the region with simple, swift and secure cross-border payments through just a few clicks on their mobile phones,” he said.