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Cross-border payment between Singapore and Thailand now possible

Transferring money between Singapore and Thailand is now simple thanks to PromptPay and PayNow Partnership

On Thursday, the Thai central bank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) unveiled the linkage of Thailand's PromptPay and Singapore's PayNow real-time retail payment systems.

The linkage implies that retail customers from participating banks in both countries can now securely perform cross-border fund transfers using their mobile numbers, making it the first of its kind worldwide. Three of Singapore's 12 PayNow banks participate in the scheme - DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and UOB - together with Thailand's Bangkok, Kasikorn, Krung Thai and Siam Commercial banks, noted the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

"It shows that the existing payment infrastructure and the banking system have the potential to provide seamless cross-border payment options to retail customers. The PromptPay-PayNow linkage is only the beginning. MAS' shared objective with BoT is to work with their Asean counterparts to expand the bilateral linkage into a network of linked retail payment systems across the region." Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS
Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS|Source: Financial Technology

The linkage between the two payment system is a crucial partnership under the Asean Payment Connectivity scheme that was initiated in 2019 and is in line with efforts by the G20, Financial Stability Board, and other international standard-setting bodies to facilitate faster, cheaper, more inclusive and more transparent cross-border payment arrangements.

"There will be no need to populate information fields such as the recipient’s full name and bank account details, as with normal remittance solutions. The funds will flow seamlessly and securely between customers’ accounts in Thailand and Singapore." Bank of Thailand

The funds will flow seamlessly and securely between customers' accounts in Thailand and Singapore.

The experience will be similar to existing domestic fund transfers via PromptPay and PayNow. Senders can use their mobile banking or payment applications to initiate fund transfers instantly and securely, at any time of the day.

The new cross-border integration allows customers of participating banks in Thailand and Singapore to transfer funds of up to THB25,000 or S$1,000 daily across the two countries, using just a mobile number.

Singapore in focus

GDP: $372.063 billion compared to Thailand's $543.549 billion (2019 estimates)

Population: 5,703,569 compared to Thailand's 69,625,582  (2019 estimates)

GDP per capita: $65,233 compared to Thailand's $7,806  (2019 estimates)