Seven mobile wallets, acquirers and payment networks, including Diners Club, EZi Wallet, EZ-Link, Liquid Pay, Mastercard, UnionPay International and Wirecard, have formed a consortium to enable interoperable QR payments in Singapore for consumers and merchants.
In line with SG QR, the consortium will jointly support an interoperable QR framework that allows customers the ease and convenience of paying with their mobile wallets and cards at consortium merchants. Apart from bilateral arrangements, mobile wallets and acquirers can choose to be supplemented by LiquidNet, an interoperable API platform developed by Liquid Group that is open to debit and credit cards, wallets, telecom providers, payments technology institutions as well as local and international payment apps.
Mobile payment will also be made easier for participating merchants, as they will be able to accept consortium QR payments on a single merchant system, creating inclusiveness and effectively streamlining merchant on-boarding and support.
This initiative by the consortium comes on the heels of the Payments Council’s endorsement of the EMVCo compliant SG QR specifications for electronic payments that will see SG QR being adopted and deployed by payment service providers in Singapore through 2018.
SG QR payments via local and international credit cards, debit cards and stored value wallets will be supported, ensuring a seamless and streamlined e-payment experience for both consumers and merchants.
The consortium’s goal is to promote electronic payments in Singapore, in line with the Singapore Payments Roadmap, with the aim of supporting interoperability among 2 million customers and 50,000 merchants in Singapore by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
James Koh, Executive Director of Diners Club Singapore, said: “We view this collaboration as an important development in speeding up the ubiquitous adoption of the cashless payment landscape in Singapore. Diners Club, being one of the largest merchant acquirers in Singapore, is well positioned to significantly contribute to this national endeavor. We are confident that this platform will enhance the interoperability and increase the scale of adoption by users and merchants, both being critical success factors necessary for speedy implementation of a cashless payment ecosystem.”
Ian Lee, Founder of EZi Technology, said: “This initiative will go a long way in easing the confusion faced by merchants and consumers in adopting QR payments. It also enables local fintech start-ups like us, to compete and thrive in a supportive eco-system that we hope will propagate to the rest of the industry. The end goal for us is to ensure that Singaporeans, whether merchants or consumers, will have a choice of service providers for QR payments with the least amount of hassle.”
Nicholas Lee, CEO of EZ-Link, said: “As a member of the SG QR task force, EZ-Link is committed to expedite the implementation of a national QR standard to advance Singapore on its cashless journey. We look forward to working closely with all consortium members to help both large merchants and small retailers adopt e-payments with greater speed and convenience, to enhance their business efficiency.”
Jeremy Tan, Founder and CEO of Liquid Group, said: “The launch of LiquidNet is an important milestone in building a payments ecosystem in Singapore that is open, inclusive and integrated. Liquid Group has always viewed interoperability and universal acceptance as a critical component in cultivating a cashless society, and we are delighted to bring Singapore one step closer to achieving this goal in collaboration with our partners.”
Deborah Heng, Country Manager, Mastercard Singapore, said: “This collaboration will be significant in driving acceptance amongst consumers and merchants. With this partnership, consumers will have more options to make quick, seamless and secure QR code payments via their mobile phones. This is part of our commitment to support the nation’s vision to build an open-loop QR code system based on global EMVCo QR standard and grow the adoption of cashless payments in Singapore.”
Jeffry Ho, Regional Managing Director at Wirecard, said: “We are looking forward to working within the new consortium, which will boost mobile payments in Singapore even more. Especially QR code payments are becoming mainstream in many parts of Singapore, as more people are getting familiar with the concept of paying for goods and services by generating and scanning QR codes. We at Wirecard are enabling all participating merchants to accept these digital payments as fast and secure as possible.”
Wenhui Yang, General Manager, UnionPay International Southeast Asia, said: “UnionPay serves the world’s largest Cardholder base of over 6.3 billion. We strive to provide our customers with greater convenience and enhance their payment experience, regardless of whether they are transacting locally or across borders. This industry partnership will pave the way for us to collectively enable widespread acceptance and usage of QR Code payments at merchants all across Singapore. As a simpler, easy-to-use form of cashless payment that can be supported by almost any mobile device with a camera feature, QR Code payments will also be a key catalyst in UnionPay’s drive to help Singapore realise its vision of becoming a truly cashless society.”