Indonesia to implement QR Code standards by second half of the year

The new standardization hopes to bring higher interoperability between various payment system providers

Indonesia’s central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI), is currently conducting a trial for QR Code standardization named QRIS (Indonesian Standard QR Code). Although QR codes are already beginning to be used by the public for mobile payments, the QR Code payment system does not yet have standards in Indonesia.

BI hopes to see an implementation of the new standard immediately, considering the use of mobile payments will continue to rise. With the QRIS, one code can be used by various payment system providers at every merchant. BI believes that the standardization of the QR Code will provide an integrated payment system that is efficient, inexpensive, and safe.

QR Code standardization can improve interconnectivity in payment systems so that e-wallets from different providers can be used in one QR scanning system, Filianingsih Hendarta, the assistant governor of BI payment system policy, told local media. For example, LinkAja users can make transactions on the ecosystem of Go-Jek and vice versa.

Moreover, QRIS also aims to create healthy competition between mobile payment providers. Merchants can benefit from the standardization as they can receive funds from various payment instruments using one platform, Hendarta said.

QR Code standardization is needed to simplify digital payments processing, said Heri Sutadi, executive director of Indonesia’s ICT Institute.

“I think standardization is necessary as a reference for QR Code implementation, considering that we’re still in the early stages of adopting digital payments,” Sutadi told KrASIA. “[The standard’s] implementation should be accelerated because society cannot wait too long.”

BI’s QR Code standard will refer to the Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) QR Code, a payment standard using chips, Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR codes as interfaces to digital wallets. The standard is utilised internationally by banks, merchants, processors, and vendors.

Sutadi considers standardization to benefit providers. “E-wallet platforms will have certainty about the rules for QR Codes; what can be done and what to avoid when implementing QR Code systems in Indonesia. It also promotes interoperability across QR Code payments. The new rules will also help provide protection to avoid the risk of fraud,” he said.

There are currently 37 companies with e-money licenses from BI, twelve are banks and 25 non-bank institutions. From those 37 companies, there are 11 chip-based electronic money providers; 8 of them are banks and the rest non-bank institutions.

Mobile payment providers like Go-Pay, Ovo, Dana, or LinkAja will be given four months to comply after the standardization regulation is officially released. The new QR Code rules will take effect in the second half of 2019.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad