This brief piece in Vietnam+ is a follow-on to several other previous announcements about citizens across the ASEAN region having the ability to make cross-border payments more easily. In this case, Indonesia and Thailand are launching a cross-border pilot that allows the use of a QR code to have a real-time payment made between a merchant in Thailand and a consumer in Indonesia, and vice versa.
There have been several of these categorical initiatives over the past year or two, which are part of a planned effort to improve commerce between ASEAN nations.
‘In a statement released on August 17, the BI said under this linkage, consumers and merchants in both countries will be able to make and accept instant cross-border QR payments for goods and services.…It highlighted that this connection is the first that links the retail payment system operators in both countries, and also marks a key milestone in the ASEAN Payment Connectivity initiative, aiming to promote financial integration in the region.’
The use of mobile devices for payments and QR codes has really been pioneered in the Asia Pacific region, most specifically in China but also spreading across ASEAN as well (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).
We have written about this in member reports and continue to track developments, which are generally tepid in North America.
‘At this stage, users from Indonesia are now able to use their mobile payment applications to scan Thai QR Codes to make payments to merchants all over Thailand. Likewise, users from Thailand are now able to use their mobile payment applications to scan QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) to pay for goods and services at merchants in Indonesia and also use this service for their cross-border e-commerce transactions….The full commercial phase will be launched in the first quarter of 2022. During this phase, more participating banks/non-banks are expected to join.’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group