ASEAN BAC Chair Indonesia to Work on Regional QR Code Payment

Jakarta. The ASEAN Business Advisory Council, or ASEAN BAC, is planning to work on integrating their respective countries’ QR code payment systems, according to the grouping’s 2023 chair Indonesia.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) this year is chairing the ASEAN BAC — the business forum of the Southeast Asian bloc. Kadin chairman Arsjad Rasjid said Indonesia would come up with some “legacies” when it helms the Southeast Asian business forum. One of these legacies is the regional QR Code payment linkage.

“For digitalization, we will bring what is called the ASEAN QR Code. So member states in ASEAN will share [QR code system] with one another,” Arsjad told reporters at the ASEAN-BAC chairmanship handover ceremony in Jakarta on Monday.

“We are working together with the central banks of all member countries. For Indonesia, we will partner with Bank Indonesia,” Arsjad said.

The linkage is set to give a push for ASEAN’s goal of establishing regional payment integration by 2025. At the G20 forum in Bali, the central banks of five ASEAN member states —Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore— inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on integrating their respective QR code payments. Linking QR codes would also mean bypassing the need for US dollars as an intermediary.

Indonesia and Thailand in 2021 had already launched a pilot for cross-border payment linkage. Users from Thailand are able to scan Indonesia’s QR code, also known as QRIS, to make payments to merchants across the archipelago, and vice versa. The service is also available to pay for cross-border e-commerce transactions, according to Bank Indonesia.