Malaysia and Singapore team up to launch a unified QR code for fast international payments

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Asian countries are coming up with new, faster, and simpler ways of making international payments, fully adopting new financial technologies. The newest example of this includes the central banks of Malaysia and Singapore, which launched a unified Quick Response (QR) code to power cross-border retail payments between the two nations.

The two created the code by linking DuitNow QR — Malaysia’s national QR code solution — with Singaore’s NETS QR code, which is operated by NETS (Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore Pte. Limited).

How will the new solution work?

While the code is seemingly operational, its usage is currently limited, only allowing financial institutions that participated in the linkage and their customers to use it. According to Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), some of the listed players from the financial industry include PayNet, NETS, and the Association of Banks in Singapore. However, the full list of participants was not announced at this time.

What is known is that the unified QR code will allow in-person payments through scans of the physical QR codes of merchants, thus allowing users to make payments between both countries. Apart from that, the code will also allow online international e-commerce transactions, as noted by Malaysia’s leading financial regulator.

BNM further spoke on the launch of the new feature, stating that the linkage will boost the connectivity of international payments between the two countries. It added that the pre-pandemic annual traffic between Malaysia and Singapore saw 12 million visitors on average. Now, this new solution will allow for a much more seamless and efficient method to send payments between the two countries, thus improving the experience for merchants and consumers alike.

Malaysia and Singapore seek to improve the financial system

The country’s top financial regulator further stated that this initiative proves that both nations are dedicated to making the financial system better, faster, cheaper, and more transparent and efficient. This, in turn, is in line with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Payment Connectivity Initiative, as well as with the Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments, created by the G20 members.

BNM added that central bankers wish to extend international payments and enable international account-to-account fund transfers and remittances. This would further empower users, allowing them to make fund transfers between the two nations in real-time.

The feature is expected to come by the end of the year, and the idea is to have it designed in a way that would allow users to make transfers with the recipient’s phone number alone. BNM’s Governor, Tan Yunus, also added that the QR linking between the two countries would benefit millions of commuters across the Causeway. Apart from them, businesses and leisure travelers will also be able to benefit greatly, and Yunus hopes that this will even improve retail businesses in both Singapore and Malaysia.


Ali is a professional journalist with experience in Web3 journalism and marketing. Ali holds a Master's degree in Finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of leading cryptocurrency publications including, CryptoSlate,,, Business2Community, BeinCrypto, and more.