Singapore, Thailand launch real time cross-border payments system

Participating banks’ clients will be able to transfer up to S$1,000 or THB25,000 daily.

In a world’s first, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has launched the linkage of Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay real-time payment systems, enabling customers from both countries to perform cross-border fund transfers using only their mobile numbers.

Customers of participating banks in the two countries will be able to transfer funds of up to S$1,000 or THB25,000 daily across the two countries, using only their phone or mobile. There is no need to fill-up forms or information fields at all.

Transfers will be completed in a matter of minutes, an improvement from the average of 1-2 working days for most cross-border remittances.

ThePayNow-PromptPay linkage shows that existing payments infrastructure and the banking system have the potential to provide seamless cross-border payment options to retail customers, says Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS.

“ThePayNow-PromptPay linkage is only the beginning. MAS’ shared objective with BOT is to work with our ASEAN counterparts to expand this bilateral linkage into a network of linked retail payment systems across ASEAN. With the rise of the digital economy, we want to empower individuals and businesses in the region with simple, swift and secure cross-border payments through just a few clicks on their mobile phones,” Menon said regarding the launch of the linkage.

This is the first of its kind globally, the two regulators said in the press release, adding that the linkage is a culmination of several years of collaborations between the two countries’ payment system operators, bankers, partner associations and participating banks.

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