Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank Indonesia to commence cross-border QR payment linkage

Singapore – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Indonesia (BI) have announced plans to commence work on cross-border QR payment linkage between Indonesia and Singapore as part of the ASEAN-wide payments connectivity effort. The linkage is targeted to be launched in the second half of 2023.

The linkage allows users to make instant, secure, and efficient retail payments by scanning the Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard (QRIS) or NETS QR codes displayed by merchants.

In addition, the payment connectivity between Indonesia and Singapore will empower individuals and businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to conduct their cross-border trade, e-commerce, and financial activities efficiently.

BI and MAS also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to promote the use of local currencies in bilateral transactions such as trade and direct investments. This is in line with ASEAN financial integration efforts to facilitate the wider use of local currencies in intra-ASEAN trade and investment settlement. This can help businesses reduce their exposure to exchange rate risks and costs of conducting bilateral transactions.

Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, said, “The QRIS-NETS QR code payments connectivity is a milestone in ASEAN’s goal to establish regional payments integration by 2025 and support the vibrant cross-border trade corridors within the region. This linkage also aligns with the G20’s efforts to address existing frictions in global cross-border payments and support post-pandemic economic recovery and growth.” 

He added, “The MOU to promote the use of local currencies for bilateral transactions complements the QRIS-NETS QR code payments connectivity as it will further facilitate the settlement of bilateral transactions between Singapore and Indonesia in their respective local currencies.”

Meanwhile, Perry Warjiyo, governor of BI, said on this occasion, “During Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022 and ASEAN Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in April 2022, payment digitalisation and cross-border payments have become a priority agenda. This initiative links cross-border payments through the interconnection of national QR codes of payment between two countries, represents another milestone of the Indonesian Payment System Blueprint 2025, and also integrates with the framework to promote the use of local currencies.” 

He added, “It provides more options for users in cross-border payment transactions and serves as a key to improving transaction efficiency, promoting digital economic and financial inclusion, and strengthening macroeconomic stability by promoting more extensive use of local currencies for bilateral transactions. Bank Indonesia believes that the initiatives mark a key milestone in strengthening bilateral financial cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia.” 

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SG financial regulators want banks to scrap clickable links in customer emails, SMS

Singapore – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) have announced new measures to encourage financial institutions in Singapore to enhance their own security across their digital banking systems.

A main takeaway from this announcement is that MAS and ABS has ordered banks to remove any clickable links in emails or SMSes sent to their retail customers. Other measures being announced include delay of at least 12 hours before activation of a new soft token on a mobile device and sending out a notification to existing mobile number or email registered with the bank whenever there is a request to change a customer’s mobile number or email address.

The announcement also included reminders for putting up a threshold for funds transfer transaction notifications to customers to be set by default at SG$100 or lower, as well as cooling-off period before implementation of requests for key account changes such as in a customer’s key contact details.

MAS and ABS continue to warn the general public to never click on links provided in SMSes or emails or never divulge internet banking credentials or passwords to anyone, as well as verifying SMSes or emails received by calling the bank directly and verify that one is at the bank’s official website before making any transactions.

Wee Ee Cheong, Chairman of The Association of Banks in Singapore said, “As an industry, we have always focused on the need to ensure robust security measures while meeting customers’ expectations for convenient and swift services. Together with the MAS and ecosystem players, the banking industry will continue to strengthen consumer protection measures. We also ask that the public stay vigilant given that scams continue to evolve and are executed quickly. We remain committed to upholding the confidence with which customers can transact online safely, while still maintaining a high level of service.”

Meanwhile, Ravi Menon, managing director at MAS, commented, “MAS is deeply concerned about the recent spate of scams and the financial losses suffered by victims. The threat of scams will not go away, but we can reduce our vulnerabilities. This requires a multi-pronged response across the ecosystem. MAS, together with the police, IMDA and other relevant government agencies, is working closely with the financial industry, the telco industry, consumer groups, and other stakeholders to strengthen our collective resilience against scam attacks. We will ensure that digital banking remains secure, efficient, and trusted.”