Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Vietnam to Join ASEAN Payment Connectivity Soon, Indonesia Says

Jayanty Nada Shofa
March 31, 2023 | 9:45 pm
The ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (AFMGM) - International Financial Institutions (IFIs) Meeting in Bali on March 31, 2023. (Antara Photo/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo)
The ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (AFMGM) - International Financial Institutions (IFIs) Meeting in Bali on March 31, 2023. (Antara Photo/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo)

Jakarta. ASEAN chair Indonesia revealed on Friday that the bloc’s cross-border payment connectivity would soon grow from just five member states to six with Vietnam ready to be part of the network.

ASEAN central bank governors and finance ministers have just concluded their first meeting under Indonesia’s chairmanship in Bali. In these talks, Indonesia has been pushing for an expansion of regional payment connectivity. 

Today, only the ASEAN-5 —Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand— have committed to linking their QR code payment systems. Indonesia and Thailand are already linked. Trials for Indonesia-Malaysia linkage have entered the final stage.

According to Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo, a member country must develop its domestic instant payment system before establishing cross-border linkages. Indonesia has the Quick Response Indonesian Standard (QRIS) and the Bank Indonesia Fast Payment. The other ASEAN-5 countries also have their respective instant payment systems.


“That is why we started with five [ASEAN countries] first as they all have their domestic instant payment systems to connect bilaterally and multilaterally. And now, Vietnam is ready because they are in the process of strengthening their instant payment system,” Perry told a hybrid press briefing in Bali on Friday.

“So Vietnam will soon be joining [us],” Perry said.

Perry revealed that Brunei Darussalam, Laos, and Cambodia would follow later on. Those three countries are still developing their instant payment systems, although they have all expressed interest to join.

The success of the Nexus —a multilateral network that connects multiple instant payment systems—has also given hope to the connectivity plan.

This Bank of International Settlements or BIS-led project has successfully linked Singapore, Malaysia, and Eurosystem payment systems. The ASEAN-5 will work on connecting their payment systems in the next phase of the Nexus project. 

“So connectivity is not only [limited to] the ASEAN-5, but will expand to the 10 [ASEAN member countries] and then global [connectivity] with this Nexus project,” Perry said.

He added: “While we are expanding the members [in the linkage] and also multilateral [connectivity], we are strengthening the oversight, regulations, data security, and cybersecurity." 

“Soon, everywhere we go, we can use QR to purchase and cater to the needs of our transactions, and tourists, and have SMEs to be interlinked across the ASEAN region to support economic recovery.”

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