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ASEAN QR Code Innovation Expected to Enhance Cross-border Payments and Broaden MSME Market Access

The ASEAN QR Code, a newly introduced innovation, is set to revolutionize cross-border payments for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), according to Pandu Sjahrir, the legacy lead of ASEAN QR Code. Sjahrir highlighted the potential of this integration to open up a broader market for MSMEs by enabling seamless online payments between buyers and sellers in countries like Malaysia or Singapore.

The introduction of the ASEAN QR Code will have a transformative impact on e-commerce platforms, as it will allow them to expand their market accessibility across various ASEAN nations. Currently, the code is operational in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, offering a cheaper, safer, and more straightforward payment method than other prevalent options.

Sjahrir emphasized that users can make direct payments from their mobile phones, eliminating the need for credit cards or other payment mediums that often entail service fees. He also mentioned the ongoing improvements in the infrastructure supporting the use of the ASEAN QR Code across the five participating countries, which aim to achieve interoperability between the systems.

Private sectors from these five nations are actively exploring ways to maximize the benefits of these cross-border barcodes, fostering enhanced business collaborations between major corporations and MSMEs within the ASEAN countries. The vision for the future is to implement the ASEAN QR Code across all ASEAN member nations. However, the immediate focus is on ensuring optimal execution in the current participating countries.

The ASEAN QR Code is a result of the efforts of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and was introduced under Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN chairmanship. It represents a significant stride towards facilitating cross-border transactions and empowering MSMEs in the region.

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