Selangor Journal
A general view of the headquarters of Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, January 29, 2013. — Picture by REUTERS

Five Asean central banks ink MoU to boost regional payment connectivity

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — The central banks of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation on regional payment connectivity (RPC).

In a joint statement today, the central banks said the cooperation, which was sealed on the sidelines of the ongoing G20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali, Indonesia, aimed to support faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive cross-border payments.

The RPC is expected to be a significant contributor to accelerating regional economic recovery and promoting inclusive growth, they said.

“The implementation of cross-border payment connectivity supports and facilitates cross-border trade, investment, financial deepening, remittance, tourism, and other economic activities, as well as a more inclusive financial ecosystem in the region.

“This is particularly beneficial for micro, small, and medium enterprises as it will facilitate their participation in international markets. The cooperation will include a number of modalities, including QR code and fast payment,” they said.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo, in his keynote address at the summit, emphasised the importance of concrete joint collaborative action in addressing global challenges.

He also expressed his highest appreciation to the five central banks’ governors for their commitment to delivering innovative breakthroughs that would further accelerate regional payment connectivity.

The central banks said the cooperation initiative was in line with Indonesia’s G20 Presidency priority agenda in the area of digital transformation, including through payment systems in the digital era, manifested by the joint efforts to pursue enhanced cross-border payment connectivity involving Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Going forward, they said that this payment connectivity initiative could be expanded to include other countries in the region and potentially other partner countries outside the region.

Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the initiative underscores the importance of central bank collaboration in supporting the development of next-generation payment connectivity.

“Realising the vision of an ASEAN regional network of fast and efficient cross-border payment systems will advance our digital ambitions and further deepen financial integration for the benefit of the region’s economic development,” she said.

The joint cooperation marked the start of Indonesia’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 2023.

This initiative also supports Asean’s shared aspiration for connected payment systems that enable fast, seamless and more affordable cross-border payments across the region.

In line with Asean’s pragmatic approach to deepen integration through mutually beneficial arrangements based on the level of readiness, this initiative provides the building blocks for broader Asean participation in the near future, thereby fostering stronger regional economic ties.

— Bernama

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