Mr Ong touring 100 AM Mall and paying for purchases using SGQR; the code will be adopted by 27 payment schemes and will be rolled out progressively over the next six months. PHOTO: MAS

Jamie Lee
The Business Times
TUE, SEP 18, 2018 – 5:50 AM

Singapore’s payments transformation pushes ahead with single QR code
Government also opening interbank payment such as FAST service to fintech firms


A LONG-AWAITED piece is finally in place that will get Singapore’s electronic payments transformation going.

Singapore on Monday launched a single, standardised QR or Quick Response code for e-payments in what could be a global model for other jurisdictions.

Just as significant, the government also announced it will open the interbank payment gates to fintech firms by 2019. This will bring non-bank e-wallets into the national e-payment loop and also spur digital innovation.

Speaking at the launch of the common QR code, Monetary Authority of Singapore board member and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said: “These may well be the last few jigsaw pieces we are putting in place to complete the national e-payment infrastructure.”
The newly minted Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) will be adopted by 27 payment schemes including PayNow, Nets, GrabPay, Liquid Pay and Singtel Dash, and will be rolled out progressively over the next six months. More than 19,000 QR codes will be replaced with SGQR codes from this month.

To pay by SGQR, consumers choose their preferred payment scheme from the accepted options, and login to the relevant payment app. They then scan the SGQR code and pay the amount required. SGQR does not require a terminal, and so is a cheaper way to accept various e-payment options. A common problem now is that QR codes can be designed differently from each other, which prevents certain e-wallets from reading them all. This resulted in F&B outlets such as Toast Box having to display several QR codes, confusing consumers.

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