IMDA and MAS Seeks Feedback to Bolster the SGQR’s Interoperability

IMDA and MAS Seeks Feedback to Bolster the SGQR’s Interoperability

by September 28, 2022

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are seeking feedback on making the Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) more interoperable.

The consultation paper seeks views on IMDA’s and MAS’ proposals to introduce a set of guidelines to set out the central bank’s expectations on all Relevant Merchant Acquirers through their participation in the SGQR.

IMDA and MAS are also considering introducing a fee structure model for SGQR members and conducting regular batched onboarding exercises for merchant acquirers who wish to join.

Major payment institutions, exempt payment service providers that provide merchant acquisition services as well as parties who have applied for a major payment institution license are invited to send in their feedback.

The SGQR was rolled out in September 2018 as the world’s first standard for a unified payment quick response (QR) code which allows multiple payment schemes to be combined into a single label.

Over the past five years, SGQR has become widely adopted in Singapore with more than 203,000 merchants onboard as a low cost and infrastructure-light solution for accepting digital payments.

As Singapore aims to become a Smart Nation, promoting digital payments is a essential to realise this vision.

MAS has built and enhanced open and accessible payments infrastructure, such as SGQR, FAST and PayNow, to enable payment users in Singapore to make simple, seamless, and secure digital payment transactions domestically and across borders.

In April 2021, MAS and the Bank of Thailand launched the linkage of PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay. The first of its kind globally, the linkage allows customers of participating banks in Singapore and Thailand to transfer funds across the two countries instantly and securely.

MAS is also working with the Reserve Bank of IndiaBank Negara Malaysia and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to link PayNow to India, Malaysia and the Philippines’ real-time payment systems – Unified Payments Interface, DuitNow and QR Ph respectively.

Preparing SGQR for interoperable domestic and cross-border QR code payments connectivity is an important step in ensuring the future readiness of SGQR as a national payment rail.

An excerpt from the IMDA and MAS consultation paper says,

“As SGQR matures as a scheme, it is essential for IMDA and MAS to consider how to further strengthen the participation of merchant acquirers and payment schemes in SGQR to ensure that more payment schemes can be accepted through the use of the SGQR label.


Hence, it is timely for IMDA and MAS to consider appropriate ways to strengthen the existing standards, governance, and participation rate of SGQR to affirm SGQR as the single means of static QR code payment acceptance at merchants’ physical places of business in Singapore.”