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Saturday 20 October 2018


Singapore to develop a common QR code

Written by Anthony Strzalek

Singapore’s Payments Council has set up a taskforce to develop a common QR code for payments in the country.

At the council’s inaugural meeting earlier this month, council members advocated the use of QR code-based payments as a practical and convenient way to introduce e-payments to cash-based merchants.

While debit and credit card schemes worked well for large merchants and retailers, the council indicated that these solutions were often not feasible for smaller merchants who preferred an infrastructure-light and cheaper solution.

The council noted, however, that the proliferation of more proprietary QR codes at such merchants risked fragmentation of payment solutions and inefficiency among merchants and consumers.

Council members agreed that a common QR code could facilitate payments among different payment schemes, e-wallets and banks and that it would help make payment transactions simple, swift, seamless and safe for everyone.

Members agreed to establish an industry taskforce to develop a common QR code for Singapore (SGQR). The SGQR Taskforce will be co-led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) and involve a broad range of stakeholders such as banks, payment schemes, QR payment service providers, and government agencies.

The taskforce aims to have in place by the end of 2017, standardised SGQR specifications to accept both domestic and international payment schemes.

Yeo Hiang Meng, a member of the Payments Council, said: “Singaporeans are interested in the mobile payment experience. FMAS will work with the MAS, Association of Banks in Singapore and financial institutions to expedite the adoption of the common QR code for mobile payments. We hope to see intensified marketing efforts to encourage businesses and consumers to adopt mobile payments at heartland shops and hawker centres.”

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