Response to “Isn't just one 'standard' QR code system enough?” - The Straits Times, 23 November 2017

Dear Editor,

We thank Mr Heah for his feedback on the QR code standard for Singapore. (“Isn't just one 'standard' QR code system enough?”, The Straits Times, 23 November 2017).

SG QR is indeed the ‘one standard QR code system’ that Mr Heah envisages. It will be able to incorporate payment schemes of all current as well as future providers onto a single QR without needing to conform to each of their proprietary specifications. SG QR will also be able to accept QR payments from international visitors to Singapore and is open to all acquirers. The acquirer ensures that the merchant receives the payment that the consumer makes through the QR transaction. SQ QR will be progressively rolled out across Singapore in 2018.

The NETS’ QR code allows merchants to display one QR code for consumers to scan for payments via their e-wallets with any of the seven major banks in Singapore. However, while NETS QR can be expanded to include other payment schemes, it can only do so with NETS as the acquirer. 

While it would have been ideal for all payments providers to use SG QR from the start, doing so would have meant holding back the introduction of QR code payments until the SG QR specifications were ready. The task force that developed the SG QR standard based it on the global EMVCo specification, which was endorsed by international schemes such as Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay, and finalised only on 31 July 2017. The task force then brought in the major issuers of QR payment schemes in Singapore, such as Alipay, Ezi Wallet, GrabPay, Liquidpay, Singtel Dash, UnionPay International, and NETS, to develop SG QR. 

MAS and IMDA will be working with payments providers to update their apps prior to the launch of SG QR and ensure a smooth roll-out. NETS, Singtel Dash and UnionPay International, who had launched their QR payments recently, have committed to adopt the SG QR standard when the latter is launched.

With SG QR, consumers and merchants will have a seamless and streamlined e-payment experience, while having maximum choice of payment schemes when making QR payments.

Jerome Lee (Mr)
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Karen Low (Ms)
Director, Communications and Marketing
Infocomm Media Development Authority

Last Modified on 30/11/2017