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Source: Global Business Magazine Facebook account.

Singapore introduces world’s first unified payment QR Code – SGQR

The Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) has been officially launched today and will be adopted by 27 payment schemes including PayNow, NETS, GrabPay, Liquid Pay and Singtel DASH, and will be deployed progressively over the next six months.

Launched Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education and MAS Board Member on Monday (17 September), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that the programme is the first of its kind globally, which combines multiple payment QR codes into a single SGQR label, making QR code-based mobile payments simple for both consumers and merchants.

Authorities claim that SGQR payments are simple, swift and safe. Consumers will be able to quickly and easily see if their preferred QR payment option appears on the merchant’s SGQR label. To pay by SGQR, consumers just have to “Pick” their preferred payment scheme from the accepted options, and login to the relevant payment app, “Scan” the SGQR code, and “Pay” the amount required.

According to the press release, with the consolidation of QR codes, merchant will only need to display a single SGQR label showing the e-payments it accepts, which means less clutter on the store front and quicker payments processing.

"The addition of new QR payments options, both domestic and international, are also streamlined into the single SGQR label. SGQR does not require a terminal, so it is a cheaper way to accept various e-payment options," the authorities noted.

Merchants that currently offer QR code payments will have their existing QR codes replaced with a single SGQR label over the next six months. The first phase of SGQR label replacement, starting with merchants in the Central Business District, will be commencing in late September 2018.

During the replacement phase of existing QRs, there will be a transitional period where some merchants may still display multiple QR codes, while others display a single SGQR label.

They said that consumers can continue to make QR code payments using the existing QRs via their usual payment app. Consumers who have specific questions about how their particular payment app or scheme works within SGQR should contact their respective provider. Merchants can approach their acquirers to check on their deployment timetable.

SGQR was developed by an industry task force co-led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Members of the task force include both Singapore and international payments providers, who will implement SGQR for their Singapore merchants.

Source: MAS and IMDA.

"With over 1.6 million ActiveSG members, it is natural for Sport Singapore to embrace the seamless e-payment through our Active Wallet. As we transform into a digital community, we believe that our support for SGQR will deepen our engagement and enrich people's overall experience at our Sport Centres and the programmes we provide island-wide”, said Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief of ActiveSG, Sport Singapore.

Mr Cheng Li, Chief Technology Officer of Ant Financial Services Group noted, “We support Singapore’s initiative to launch the SGQR code, a milestone in the development of the country’s mobile payment landscape. Ant Financial believes the significance of inclusive financial services lies in providing equal access to financial services for individuals and businesses. In this regard, we are delighted to work with the Singapore Government and other industry partners to drive innovation in mobile payment technologies and standards, to improve user experience and create value.”

“Grab is happy to work with MAS on this initiative and believes such a collaborative approach will accelerate our shared vision of a cashless society. In fact, based on our research, consumers in Singapore are receptive towards paying through QR codes, yet merchants struggle with having multiple QR codes for the different payment options. The SGQR initiative will help address this concern. We look forward to helping more merchants and consumers access the convenience, security and value that come with cashless transactions”, said Ms Ooi Huey Tyng, Managing Director, GrabPay Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

“Honestbee is delighted to support the SGQR initiative where we work with other startups and stalwarts of the payments industry like NETS, to get Singapore closer to a cashless nation and provide greater convenience to consumers and businesses”, Mr Isaac Tay, Co-Founder of Honestbee.

"The adoption of SGQR has significantly advanced Singapore's Smart Nation agenda and we are now one step closer to a unified e-payment system. Liquid Group has always viewed interoperability and universal acceptance as a crucial component in cultivating a cashless society, and we are delighted to play a part in reaching this milestone. We will work with the government and other industry leaders to ensure a rapid rollout of the SGQR standard." Mr Jeremy Tan, co-founder and CEO of Liquid Group.