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Singapore and Thailand Establish Digital Payment Cooperation

Singapore and Thailand was exploring cooperation to link their national digital payment system, amid efforts by both countries restrict the use of cash.

Both countries in this regard are ambitious to be pioneers in developing digital cross-border payment systems in Southeast Asia. The partnership will bring together two national PayNow digital payments platform Singapore and PromptPay in Thailand.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Bank of Thailand are exploring the possibility of connecting the two platforms , we want to be first,” said Naphongthawat Phothikit, Director of the Bank of Thailand Payment System, as quoted by Bloomberg on Thursday (05/10/2017 ).

However, Naphongthawat added that the cooperation is currently in the early exploratory and discussion phase. He judged it too early to target when the cooperation was realized or started.

As is known, digitalization of payments and financial transactions has become the main program of a number of countries in Asia. The reason digital payments are seen more efficient and easier to track than physical money and conventional transactions.

PayPal Holdings Inc. in his survey said, for now transactions using physical money still dominate in Asia. About 57% of 4,000 consumers in seven Asian markets still rely on cash transactions and use physical money. In contrast, digital transactions are common in Europe.

Bank of Thailand itself has launched its ProminPay nasinonal digital payment service in January 2017. The platform has been adopted by all national banks. Currently, there are 24 million people enrolled or equivalent to one third of Thailand’s population.

The PayNow platform, introduced by the Singapore banking association in July 2017, already has more than 500,000 registrants, according to data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as of August 29.

Both platforms will work with the transfer method using  peer-to-peer   through the banks of both countries. This cooperation also allows payments to be made by using a recipient’s mobile phone or using a national identity card number.

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