April 30, 2021 at 09:26PM

Payment systems in Singapore and Thailand are coming together for a first-ever collaboration to advance real-time retail payments.

PayNow, from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and PromptPay, from the Bank of Thailand (BOT), introduced the linking of the two entities after years of collaboration among both countries’ payment system operators.

The partnership also culminated in part from the cooperation of bankers’ associations in both countries, as well as from participating banks, according to a press release.

Users of Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay will now be able to transfer up to $1,000 in Singapore dollars ($750) or 25,000 Thai baht ($800) daily between the countries, using just a mobile phone number, according to the release.

“The transfers will be completed within a matter of minutes, representing a marked improvement over the average of 1-2 working days needed by most cross-border remittance solutions,” per the release.

Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, said it’s on a mission to form a retail-time payment systems network that is linked with member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“With the rise of the digital economy, we want to empower individuals and businesses in the region with simple, swift, and secure cross-border payments through just a few clicks on their mobile phones,” he said.

Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, governor of BOT, said its domestic payment system PromptPay has also been eyeing upgrades to cross-border links with ASEAN and other countries and  “launched our QR cross-border payment connectivity with Japan, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam.”

Earlier this month, BOT and State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) introduced cross-border interoperable QR code payment linkage. The move was intended to give the financial markets of both countries more capital and stimulate regional economies.

Delays in cross-border payments are being addressed by the U.S. and the U.K. A PYMNTS study with Visa in March indicated the delay could strain cash flow. It takes U.S. businesses about three days longer to receive payments than their U.K. counterparts.

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