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Malaysia, Singapore central banks to launch cross-border real-time payment system

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Teddy Cambosa

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6 months ago

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) have jointly introduced the real-time payment system linkage connecting Malaysia’s DuitNow with Singapore’s PayNow.

The DuitNow-PayNow linkage facilitates immediate, secure, and cost-efficient person-to-person (P2P) fund transfers and remittances between the two nations. Notably, it is the first to involve non-bank financial institutions from both countries, broadening accessibility to a wider user base.

Initially, the service will be accessible to users in Malaysia through Maybank, CIMB, and TNG Digital, while in Singapore, Liquid Group, Maybank Singapore, OCBC, and UOB customers will gradually gain access. Additional financial institutions will be progressively integrated, expanding the user base until the end of January 2024 to ensure customers become accustomed to the new service.

This cross-border P2P payment system empowers eligible consumers to send and receive funds, capped at RM3,000 or S$1,000 daily, using the recipient’s mobile phone number or VPA.

The collaborative efforts of central banks, payment system operators, scheme owners, and participating financial institutions from both nations have led to the realization of the DuitNow-PayNow linkage. Positioned as a milestone, it is anticipated to enhance the cost, speed, access, and transparency of cross-border payments, delivering cost-effectiveness, inclusivity, and accessibility benefits to users in both countries.

This initiative follows the announcement of a QR payment linkage on March 31, 2023, facilitating cross-border QR payments to merchants.

Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, governor at BNM, said, “Cross-border payments that are fast, secure, and cost-efficient can provide immense benefits, especially for individuals and small businesses in countries with very close economic ties such as Malaysia and Singapore. The DuitNow-PayNow linkage enables us to reap these benefits towards our shared growth and prosperity while laying the foundations for scalable cross-border payment networks across and beyond ASEAN.”

Meanwhile, Ravi Menon, managing director at MAS, said, “The PayNow-DuitNow linkage is the culmination of a shared aspiration by Singapore and Malaysia to facilitate cross-border payments between our two countries. This linkage represents another step towards ASEAN’s vision for regional payment interconnectivity.”

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