A universal QR code was launched on Monday (Sept 17) to free merchants from the need to display multiple QR codes to accept different cashless payment schemes.
Dubbed SGQR, the national QR code allows consumers to scan and transfer funds from as many as 27 e-payment apps, including GrabPay, Dash and Nets.
Singapore’s interbank instant fund transfer system will also be opened up to non-banks such as Grab and Singtel, underpinning the transformation of the e-payment scene here.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) board member Ong Ye Kung made the announcements on Monday, saying that the last few jigsaw pieces are finally coming together to help Singapore build its national cashless system.
The technical specifications of SGQR were first unveiled in November last year. After the 27 payment firms worked the specifications into their payment systems, SGQR is now ready for commercial roll out.
Announcing the launch of SGQR on Monday, Mr Ong said: “QR code payments have been growing and many cash-intensive merchants, such as hawkers, are accepting them. But every scheme… all issue their own QR code. This causes confusion.”
Even with this inter-operable QR code, the topping up of various e-wallets has been impeded by the current set-up, where e-payment firms have to negotiate deals with individual banks to allow users to top up their wallets from their bank accounts.
But this inefficient set-up will change as Fast, an instant online interbank funds transfer system, will be open to non-banks to facilitate fund transfers to and from any e-wallet.