The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched SGQR in a bid to unify the country’s QR payment network. Not only will the platform accelerate QR payment adoption and acceptance in Singapore, it will set the standard for the rest of the region.
The mobile payment process in Singapore is confusing due to the volume of different solutions available in the market. Consumers have to spend time looking for the logo of their chosen payment service provider.
Improving payments in Singapore
Merchants are constantly asked if they accept specific mobile wallets; for a Hainanese chicken rice stall that becomes an extra few hundred annoying “yes/no” responses to customers throughout the day. Payments using mobile phones were designed with efficiency in mind, but instead have become a hassle.
In a bid to solve this issue MAS has launched SGQR. The platform represents a consolidation of the country’s QR payment environment, enabling acceptance of 27 unique QR payment schemes available in the market. SGQR will also accept mobile wallet services from other countries.
This should lead to a dramatic improvement for both consumers and merchants. Consumers will no longer need to check whether their mobile wallet is accepted; merchants will not need to stipulate which individual schemes they accept; and the checkout area will be less cluttered, with only one QR code needing to be displayed.
SGQR’s ability to work across borders will build upon previous work in the region to facilitate cross-border payments, giving it significant utility in an international city like Singapore. In 2017 Thailand and Singapore agreed to link up instant payment systems (PayNow in Singapore and PromptPay in Thailand) so consumers can transfer money directly using a telephone number at any time of day. Singapore is pursuing similar deals with other major markets such as China and India.
The convenience brought by the unification of QR payment solutions under a single platform will accelerate adoption of mobile payments in the market among domestic consumers. and most importantly should kick-start cross border mobile payment acceptance by merchants in the city will further grow mobile payments at a regional Association of Southeast Asian Nations level as well.
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