BI Appoints ALTO to Take Part in the Cross-Border QR Payment Linkage Project between Indonesia and Thailand

By Ellisa | Sep 07 2021 23:07

Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) officially announced a cross-border QR payment linkage partnership between Indonesia and Thailand on August 17, 2021. This linkage bridges the retail payment system operators in Indonesia and Thailand, enabling consumers and merchants in these respective countries to utilize instant cross-border QR payments that will further encourage greater financial integration and connectivity across the ASEAN region.

Through this partnership, BI has appointed ALTO, one of the leading switching companies in Indonesia, while simultaneously BOT has appointed ITMX, the electronic payment infrastructure provider in Thailand, to implement the required system that can seamlessly facilitate cross-border QR payment transactions between the two countries. 

The Cross-Border QR Payment Linkage project between Indonesia and Thailand will be carried out in several phases. The first rollout phase is a pilot project that entails the establishment of a foundational system that can capably execute a smooth payment interconnection between customers, merchants and operators. The pilot phase will open the way for a full-fledged commercial launch in 2022. 

With the pilot phase set in motion, Indonesian users can make payments to all merchants in Thailand by scanning Thai QR Codes with their own mobile payment applications. Thailand users can likewise make payments to merchants in Indonesia by scanning QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) with their smartphones. The linkage, therefore, expands user engagement in cross-border online transactions in both countries, and will bring even more tremendous benefits when international tourism and businesses resume back to normal.

The next full commercial rollout is slated to commence in the first quarter of 2022. It will see more banks/nonbanks to join the linkage, with future plans to enable more services that promote hassle-free real-time payment transfer options, such as by conveniently using the recipient’s mobile phone number.  

“The cross-border QR payment linkage between Thailand and Indonesia is a crucial step in achieving the greater financial integration in Southeast Asia,” said Patricco Baron, the CTO of ALTO. “International payments can be done easily under the Local Currency Settlement (LCS) framework implementation, in which every transaction is settled by using the applicable local currency exchange rates, as provided by the Appointed Cross Currency Dealer (ACCD) banks. This will therefore create a more convenient cross-border digital payment system that provides users with streamlined processes and improved efficiency, at a lower cost. The arrangement is the first of its kind in Indonesia.”

Not only positively contributing to the Indonesian Payment System Blueprint 2025 visions in retail payments, this project also becomes a major milestone in actualizing the ASEAN Payment Connectivity initiative.  

Apart of the Indonesian and Thailand governments, this project involves other multiple parties including the  Indonesian Payment System Association (ASPI), the Thai Bankers’ Association, 13 QRIS providers, the four switching companies of Indonesia namely ALTO, Rintis, Artajasa, and Jalin, the payment system operator from Thailand National ITMX (NITMX), as well as ACCD banks such as Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) from Indonesia; and Bangkok Bank (BBL), Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), and CIMB Thai Bank (CIMBT) from Thailand.



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