Five ASEAN countries, namely, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, have agreed to cooperate on ASEAN cross-border payment using QR codes or e-wallet. In this cooperation, they decided to use QR codes, fast payments, data, RTGS, and local currency transactions as one of the payment methods in the region.
The central banks of five ASEAN countries, namely Bank Indonesia (BI), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Bank of Thailand (BOT), work together to make cross-border payments in ASEAN faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive.
Under this agreement, each central bank is committed to using local currencies in all ASEAN countries as official payments, which will be converted based on the prevailing exchange rate in each country.
In January 2023, Indonesia and Malaysia tested the QR code-based cross-border payment system, and it became an official cross-border payment method on 8 May. Previously, cross-border payment cooperation using QR codes was successfully implemented in Indonesia and Thailand.
Data from Bank Indonesia showed that the Indonesian tourists’ transactions in Thailand with Thai QR code reached 14,555 transactions, with a value of Rp 8.54 billion. Meanwhile, the number of Thai tourists’ transactions in Indonesia with QRIS was 492 transactions, with a value of Rp114 million.
For this reason, Bank Indonesia continues to promote the use of QRIS as an official payment method in other ASEAN countries so that each central bank can standardize digital payments using digital financial applications, such as mobile banking and e-wallet.
QRIS combines different QRs from Payment System Service Providers (PJSPs) for more convenient and centralized transactions. Consumers do not need to have an account or use multiple applications to pay. As a result, digital transactions using QR codes are easier, faster, and more secure.
Easy and fast payments can increase trade and tourism in the ASEAN regions. For instance, Indonesian tourists do not need to have Ringgit money when they make transactions in Malaysia. QRIS payment system will instantly convert Rupiah into Ringgit according to the prevailing exchange rate when making the transaction.
By using QRIS for cross-border payments within ASEAN, countries are no longer dependent on the value of the US dollar. Moreover, cooperation among ASEAN countries is increasingly integrated and sustainable. Thus, it can strengthen the ASEAN region's economy at the global level.
How to Use QRIS Across Countries
QR codes can be used to pay for almost everything from store and mall shopping to tourist ticket payments. However, a consumer must download a banking or financial services application on a smartphone before enjoying the convenience of transacting using QRIS between countries.
Then, the consumer can proceed with the following steps.
Open the payment application and click the "Scan QRIS" menu.
Enter the amount you want to pay or transfer in the home country’s currency, for example, 10 Baht.
Confirm the receiver and amount in Rupiah (automatically converted, e.g., 10 ฿ automatically becomes Rp4,500).
Enter the registered PIN. If correct, you will receive a notification that the transaction succeeds.
Payment using QRIS between countries is completed.
(ASEAN Indonesia 2023)