The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) have teamed up to drive cross-border fund transfers via mobile numbers.

As part of this, the regulators will implement a phased linkage of Singapore’s PayNow and Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payment systems.

The first phase, which is set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, will enable customers of both payment systems to make real-time fund transfers between both countries.

Besides, they will be able to make retail payments by scanning NETS or DuitNow QR codes displayed at merchants’ storefronts.

MAS and BNM also plan to expand the PayNow-DuitNow linkage to integrate a range of features and participants in the next phase.

They will evaluate the feasibility of integrating features such as distributed ledger technology-based solutions to boost payments clearing and settlement between participating banks.

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By GlobalData

MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said: “Singapore’s remittance corridor with Malaysia is our largest remittance corridor; hence, the PayNow-DuitNow linkage will be an important infrastructure to support cross-border payment needs of individuals and businesses, as well as the growing digital economic activity between both countries.”

Mohanty also added that the linkage will enable the regulators to incorporate the use of distributed ledger and smart contract technologies in the wholesale cross border payments space

BNM assistant governor Fraziali Ismail said the initiative will further strengthen the economic ties between Singapore and Malaysia.

Ismail commented: “By bringing the efficiencies observed in domestic payments to cross-border payments, the PayNow-DuitNow linkage will be a game-changer resulting in faster, cheaper and more accessible payment services for the people of both countries,”

Recently, the MAS and Reserve Bank of India announced a project to link India’s UPI and Singapore’s PayNow fast payment systems.