Japan and ASEAN plan QR code mobile payments integration

QR code - Mobile Transactions - ASEAN Logo

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan intend to unify their systems next year

Beginning next year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan intend to combine their QR code mobile payment systems to streamline transactions and skip currency exchange requirements.

This strategy will be particularly beneficial to tourists moving throughout the region.

This strategy was announced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan (METI), and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA). Its purpose is to make spending a smoother experience throughout the regions.

QR Code - Mobile Payment Transaction

METI is currently in discussions with central banks and governments around the world, including – but not limited to – those in Southeast Asia. The reason is to help move that initiative ahead more broadly.

A QR code mobile payment system is under development by the Cashless Promotion Council to help bring together domestic and international services. It is expected to be completed before the close of this year.

QR code payments are offered by a range of different companies in Japan

Among the companies offering this type of mobile transaction in Japan are Rakuten Pay and Paypay.  That said, the new system being developed by the Cashless Promotion Council will make it possible for shoppers to complete transactions using any service through the scan of a quick response code at the store, sidestepping the current service limitations that work only within registered networks.

In 2022, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines – all ASEAN countries – signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for integrating payments and initiating interactions in a number of areas.

Now, Japan is hoping to accelerate the ASEAN countries negotiations in order to put the new service into effect quickly.

In 2022, the non-cash payment transactions made in Japan came to about 111 trillion yen ($750 billion).  Only around 2.6 percent of that total represented transactions completed using a QR code scan or other barcode-based mobile payment transaction.

On the other hand, six major Southeast Asian country digital payments totals reached $858 billion in that same year.

Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) conducted a survey in which it spotlighted the way QR codes and other digital payments represented 28 percent of total transactions in Indonesia and 23 percent in Thailand, demonstrating the power of cashless payments in those areas.

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