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Singapore and Thailand launch first ever linkage of payment systems

By Leandra Monteiro

April 30, 2021

  • Bank Of Thailand
  • PayNow
  • Promptpay
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Bank of Thailand, Singapore, MAS, BOT, PromptPay, PayNow The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has recently launched the linkage of Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay real time retail payment systems. According to the MAS this is the first of its kind globally.

As per the arrangements, customers of the participating banks in Singapore and Thailand will be able to transfer funds of up to S$1,000 or THB25,000 daily, with conversion into the local currency dependent on the foreign exchange rate at the time of sending. The transfers will be completed within a matter of minutes, which is quite an improvement from the average of 1-2 working days needed by most cross-border remittance solutions.

Three of Singapore’s 12 PayNow banks are participating in the scheme – DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and UOB along with four banks in Thailand namely Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank, Krung Thai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank.

The PayNow-PromptPay linkage is a key partnership under ASEAN Payment Connectivity that was initiated in 2019, and closely keeps in line with efforts by the G20, Financial Stability Board, and other international standard-setting bodies to facilitate faster, cheaper, more inclusive, and transparent cross-border payment arrangements.

According to media reports, Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS said, “The PayNow-PromptPay linkage is only the beginning. MAS’ shared objective with BOT is to work with our Asean counterparts to expand this bilateral linkage into a network of linked retail payment systems across Asean. With the rise of the digital economy, we want to empower individuals and businesses in the region with simple, swift and secure cross-border payments through just a few clicks on their mobile phones.”

Dr Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, Governor of BOT said, “With the success of PromptPay, our domestic payment system, we have sought to enhance cross-border linkages with ASEAN and other countries and have launched our QR cross-border payment connectivity with Japan, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam. Today’s PayNow-PromptPay linkage represents another key milestone in our digital payments journey.”

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