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Singapore Among Five Southeast Asian Countries Accepting Cross-Border QR Code Payment for Travellers

The central banks of the five biggest economies in Southeast Asia are planning to link up their payment systems before the end of the year to make it easier for travellers to conduct transactions in the region.

Credit: Wix

The new agreement includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. It’s essentially an expansion of the existing links between some of the aforementioned countries, such as the one between Singapore and Thailand, for example. The five countries are expected to integrate their payment networks by November, as Bloomberg reports.

Once the new system is in place, travellers can pay for goods and services in any of these countries without the need to exchange for U.S. dollars, which typically serve as an intermediary between currencies. They simply have to scan a QR code and the system takes care of the currency exchange. If a traveller, for instance, uses an Indonesian app to transact in Thailand, the system would exchange rupiah for baht.