Singapore’s Payment Council has set up a task force to develop a common QR code for Singapore (SGQR) that could be used for e-payments island wide. This would offer a cheaper and less infrastructure-heavy alternative to debit and credit card schemes.

The task force made up of banks, payment schemes, QR service providers and government agencies will work towards facilitating payments among different schemes, e-wallets and banks. Standardized specifications for the code - to accept both domestic and international payment schemes as well as outline a governance structure and implementation strategy - should be ready by the end of the year.

According to a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) statement, the council had its first meeting on Aug 11, where members advocated the use of QR code-based payments as a practical and convenient way to introduce e-payments to cash-based merchants. Yeo Hiang Meng, member, Payments Council and president of the Federation of Merchants’ Association, Singapore, says: "Singaporeans are interested in the mobile payment experience. FMAS will work with the MAS, Association of Banks in Singapore and financial institutions to expedite the adoption of the common QR code for mobile payments."

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