Singapore and Thailand plan to launch a joint payment system in mid-2021, which connects Singapore’s payment app PayNow to Thailand’s PromptPay, a real-time payment platform, to connect the two countries’ mobile payment ecosystems, according to finws.Asia. Both payment systems were founded by Vocalink, a subsidiary of the international credit card giant Mastercard.
The move is aimed at making it easier for the two countries to send money across the border. The regulators of both countries, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Thailand, have held numerous consultations on this issue over the past three years, which have led to a consensus.
Only a small number of banks are expected to participate in the initial operational phase of the scheme. But as the project moves forward, regulators plan to bring in more banks and non-banks.
According to a report from Rapyd, a payment service, 37% of Thai consumers now use PromptPay. Thailand is the second-largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia, with cross-border payments accounting for about 50 percent of total e-commerce payments in the country, according to Jpmorgan. A total of 55.2 million people have signed up for PromptPay as of July 2020, and their user base is made up of young people aged 21 to 37. In Singapore, PayNow has more than $3 billion in monthly transactions, a fourfold increase from July 2019; About 80% of individuals and 75% of businesses are PayNow users.