On August 17, Indonesia’s National Day, Bank Indonesia and the Bank of Thailand launched a cross-border QR payment link between the two countries. Consumers and merchants in Indonesia and Thailand can now send and receive payments for goods and services, and this will be developed into a real-time payment feature.
“This service will benefit the people of Indonesia and Thailand who conduct cross-border transactions,” said Bank Indonesia’s governor Perry Warjiyo in a press statement. After international travel resumes, tourism will be the main sector that benefits from the QR payment link due to a typically healthy exchange of tourists between the two countries, he added.
Transaction settlements are carried out using local currencies, the Indonesian rupiah and Thai baht. The two central banks have appointed several banks to implement settlements. These include BCA, BNI, BRI, and CIMB Niaga in Indonesia, as well as Siam Commercial Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, and CIMB Thai Bank in Thailand.
At this stage, Indonesians who visit Thailand can use their mobile payment apps to scan Thai QR Codes, while users from Thailand can scan QRIS grids (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) during their visits to Indonesia. The central banks will expand the program to a full commercial phase in the first quarter of 2022. Users in both countries will be able to make real-time fund transfers by referencing the recipient’s mobile phone number, according to a press statement.
This is the first partnership that links the retail payment system operators in Indonesia and Thailand. It marks a milestone in the ASEAN payment connectivity plan, which is meant to foster broader payment integration and connectivity among the ten ASEAN member countries by 2025.
While this is the first cross-border QR link for Indonesia, Thailand has inked similar agreements with Vietnam in April, Malaysia in June, and Cambodia last year. Moreover, Thailand and Singapore also have a real-time retail payment link that allows customers of participating banks to transfer funds using just a mobile number.