Singapore sets up a taskforce to encourage the use QR-based payments

Nurdianah Md Nur

Scanning QR code with mobile phone
Credit: GraphicStock

Singapore's Payment Council has established an industry taskforce to advocate the use of QR code-based payments in the republic.

Called SGQR Taskforce, it will be co-led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), and involve a broad range of stakeholders such as banks, payment schemes, QR payment service providers, and relevant government agencies.

The taskforce aims to implement standardised SGQR specifications to accept both domestic and international payment schemes. It will also consider the governance structure and implementation strategy for QR payments.

According to the Payments Council, encouraging QR code-based payments is a practical way to introduce cash-based merchants to e-payments. However, the proliferation of proprietary QR codes at merchants risked fragmentation of payment solutions and inefficiency among merchants and consumers. The common QR code is thus hoped to counter that and facilitate payments among different payment schemes, e-wallets and banks.

Besides QR code-based payments, Singapore is also promoting the adoption of peer-to-peer (P2P) funds transfer service such as PayNow to realise a cashless society.

The Payments Council believe that the user interface and experience of the bank solutions riding on PayNow need to be enhanced to get more consumers to use the service. One example of that would be providing SMS notifications to both senders and recipients of funds.