Task force to develop common QR code for S'pore

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A newly formed payments council, set up to look into ways to advance e-payments in Singapore, has created a task force specifically to develop a common QR code for Singapore (SGQR) that could be used for e-payments islandwide.

A QR - quick response - code is a square barcode used increasingly for scanning all sorts of data onto smartphones.

A Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) statement yesterday said the council had its first meeting on Aug 11, with members advocating the use of QR code-based payments as a practical and convenient way to introduce e-payments to cash-based merchants.

QR codes are already being used for e-payments today.

DBS, for example, has been encouraging small cash-based merchants like hawkers and market vendors to adopt QR codes as a payment method.

At the point of sale, the buyer scans the merchant's displayed QR code with his phone.

This automatically displays the merchant's name in the DBS PayLah app and the buyer can then enter the payment amount.

The payment is then deducted from the buyer's DBS PayLah wallet to the merchant's.

Since introducing QR code payments here in April and launching its partnership with ComfortDelGro taxis to encourage commuters to pay via QR codes, DBS is seeing more than 15,000 QR code transactions a month via DBS PayLah.

What the task force is aiming for is a standardised QR code that can be read by any customer in Singapore, regardless of which banking app he is using.The task force aims to have in place by the end of this year standardised SGQR specifications to accept both domestic and international payment schemes.

TechnologysmartphoneMonetary Authority of Singapore