Payments Council to spearhead development of common QR Code for Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore's Payments Council recommended a common QR code for Singapore (SGQR) that can be used for both domestic and international payment schemes.

A view of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's headquarters in Singapore. Reuters

The recently-formed Payments Council set up by the (MAS) laid out its plans to develop a common QR code for the city-state.

The council, which is composed of business leaders from the finance and trade firms, advocates for a common QR code that would help make payment transactions safe and swift for both consumers and merchants.

Also Read: Singapore central bank sets up Payments Council to boost e-payments trend

The development of the QR code will be carried out by the SGQR Taskforce, whose helm will be held by MAS and the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). The task force will also involve a broad range of stakeholders such as government agencies like the Housing Development Board and the SPRING Singapore as well as some industry participants.

The council aims that by end-2017, the task force has already standardised SGQR specifications to accept both domestic and international payment schemes. The task force will also take into consideration the governance structure and implementation strategy for QR Payments.

Federation of Merchants' Association, Singapore (FMAS) President Yeo Hiang Meng said in a statement that Singapore consumers are bemused with the idea of mobile payment experience in their day-to-day transactions.

"FMAS will work with the MAS, Association of Banks in Singapore and financial institutions to expedite the adoption of the common QR code for mobile payments. We hope to see intensified marketing efforts to encourage businesses and consumers to adopt mobile payments at heartland shops and hawker centres," he stated.

Meanwhile, Payments Council Chairperson and MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said this could pave the way for more e-payments initiatives.

"The Council is off to a good start. This is the kind of idea exchange and collaboration that we need within the ecosystem to realise our shared vision of an e-payments society. Our goal is to make the payments experience efficient for businesses and delightful for everyone, including the young and elderly," he said.

The establishment of SGQR is one of the first key consideration the council has discussed in its inaugural meeting.