Daily Dash: Singapore QR Code Tie-Up With Indonesia Goes Live

November 20, 2023
Singapore has launched its QR code linkage with Indonesia, Mastercard has unveiled a CBDC-backed debit card in Kazakhstan, and Hong Kong has moved ahead with a pilot using multiple credit reference agencies.

Singapore QR Code Tie-Up With Indonesia Goes Live

Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have confirmed that a cross-border linkage between their respective national QR code standards is now live.

The linkage enables customers of participating FIs to make retail payments via their existing mobile banking apps using Indonesia's QRIS or Singapore’s NETS QR code.

Only two FIs from Singapore, OCBC and UOB, can facilitate QRIS transactions at present, and DBS will join them at a later date. On the Indonesian side, ten FIs are already signed up.

BI governor Perry Warjiyo and MAS managing director Ravi Menon launched the linkage together by making live cross-border QR payments at the Singapore FinTech Festival last week.

BI and MAS have also signed a letter of intent (LOI) to establish a local currency settlement framework.

Set to launch in 2024, the framework will facilitate the settlement of cross-border payments, including QR payments, trade and investments, between Indonesia and Singapore in their respective local currencies.

Mastercard Launches CBDC-Backed Debit Card In Kazakhstan

Mastercard has launched a new debit card backed by the digital tenge, the central bank digital currency (CBDC) of Kazakhstan.

The card went live on the 30th anniversary of the creation of the tenge, Kazakhstan’s national currency, and is the first card of its kind in the Eurasian region.

The card is issued by Eurasian Bank and is powered by the Mastercard network.

In a statement, Mastercard said the card “instantly converts funds to traditional Tenge currency” and can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted — both in Kazakhstan and overseas.  

“Digital Tenge unlocks the potential of blockchain technology to create innovative financial services, ensures targeted and efficient government spending, and also builds a ‘bridge’ between traditional finance and the world of digital assets," said Binur Zhalenov, chair of the National Payment Corporation of Kazakhstan.

"Today’s launch gave a start to the development of the Digital Tenge ecosystem and, in the near future, Kazakhstanis will be able to use the first products based on it."

Hong Kong Moves Ahead With Alternative Credit Reference Pilot

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has welcomed the launch of a new pilot to study the feasibility of a multiple credit agencies model.

Following consultation by the Hong Kong Association of Banks and others, the project will officially be named Credit Data Smart.

The three prospective credit agencies that have been selected to take part in the pilot are offered by NovaCredit, PingAn and TransUnion.

Credit Data Smart is a data infrastructure enhancement project being conducted as part of Hong Kong’s Fintech 2025 strategy.

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