Media Releases

Regional Collaboration for Real-Time Cross-Border Payments across Asia

Singapore, 16 November 2017 — Leading Asian payment system operators today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enable real-time cross-border payments by connecting their respective payment infrastructures.

The signatories to the MOU are members of Asian Payment Network (APN): National ITMX Co. Ltd (ITMX) of Thailand, National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS), Network for Electronic Transfers (Singapore) Pte Ltd (NETS), Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), and PT Rintis Sejahtera (Rintis) of Indonesia.

The inter-connectivity of real-time payment infrastructures across the region will act as a catalyst and enabler for innovation in digital payments while dramatically improving the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and timeliness of cross-border payments in ASEAN, taking into account related Central Banks’ regulation.

Consumers and businesses are expected to benefit from instant cross-border payments, immediate payment routing and addressing via mobile numbers, as well as real-time request-to-pay for cross-border payment collections.

While dialogue and discussions between the signatories is currently ongoing, concrete progress has been made with the parties reaching a broad consensus to use ISO2002 messaging standards as the basis for regional real-time payments connectivity. Service availability is expected to be phased in over the next few years, as respective countries and their stakeholders ready their payment infrastructures for interconnectivity.

This collaborative initiative will subsequently encompass payment system operators in the Asia Pacific such as NTTDATA (Japan) so that broad connectivity across the region will be realised.

ITMX Managing Director Wanna Noparbhorn said, “Building real-time cross-border payment rails expands the reach and utility of our payment offerings, while establishing the necessary infrastructure to support innovation and future needs.”

NAPAS Acting CEO Le Quoc Hung said, “In an increasingly digitalized economy, the ability to execute cross-border transactions instantaneously has never been more crucial. The initiative of interconnecting real-time payment infrastructures throughout the region will bring opportunities for each national switch in expanding and developing payment services, which is in line with global payment trends.”

NETS Group CEO Jeffrey Goh said, “Leveraging our combined expertise allows us to strengthen our respective services and achieve our common vision of an inter-operable payments system across the region.”

PayNet Group CEO Peter Schiesser said, “Our collective resolve for regional collaboration will ensure our payment services remain relevant in a fast changing, innovative and globally interconnected world”.

Rintis Managing Director, Abraham J. Adriaansz said, “Today’s announcement is a significant step towards exploring more value added payment services further transforming the cross-border payment landscape, and this is only the beginning, we will continually take advantage of the right technology, at the right time, with the right partners.