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Overview of Cross-border Payment in Southeast Asia

2018-12-21 11:20 Friday

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s Inclusive Internet Index, 50% of consumers in Thailand shop online once a week or more, and 44% shop online once a month or less. Singapore ranked  with figures of 35% and 54% respectively. As e-commerce has become increasingly prominent in the Asian market, cross-border payment security and convenience have become the top concerns for consumers and merchants alike.

Cross-border Payment

Singapore's DBS Bank and UnionPay International have signed an agreement that will enable users of the bank's debit mobile payment app DBS PayLah! to use their mobile wallet overseas for cross-border QR code payments. With this partnership, users of Singapore's most popular mobile wallet DBS PayLah! will have access to an increased number of payment acceptance points around the world.

The agreement will allow over one million DBS PayLah! users to make payments with nearly 10 million UnionPay QR code merchants across 24 jurisdictions including Australia, China, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the U.S.

"Our partnership with UnionPay International marks an exciting development for the future of e-payments in Singapore. Being able to pay internationally using DBS PayLah! QR codes brings us one step closer to our vision of providing a truly universal mobile wallet that can meet consumers' everyday needs, even while they're overseas," said Tan Su Shan, Group Head at DBS bank.

Bank Indonesia is drafting a cross-border QR code transactions regulation which is expected to come into force next year, which will supervise QR code transactions in rupiah made by foreign players. Policymakers believe that the regulation will facilitate collaboration between domestic financial institutions  with foreign platforms like WeChat and Alipay that offer QR code payment options. Dadang Setiabudi, Information Technology and Operations Director of state-owned lender PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), said: "Cooperation with foreign QR Code payment service providers would be easier with the regulation, because there will be a clear procedure and all we need to do is simply follow the procedure".

Cross-border transactions are in urgent need of stronger regulation and standardization, particularly with regard to non-card payment services such as QR code transactions which also involve merchants.

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