newstream

Voices

S’pore’s payments ecosystem should allow various options

S’pore’s payments ecosystem should allow various options
A customer using the new QR code payment system at Tanjong Pagar Plaza food centre. Photo: Jason Quah

S’pore’s payments ecosystem should allow various options

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is focusing on a common QR code for mobile payments. We should, however, consider different structures in our payments ecosystem (MAS to develop common QR code by year end; Aug 30).

Unlike China, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pointed to recently, most Singaporeans qualify for formal financial services — they have payslips, current and savings accounts and access to credit lines.

We are not the greenfield development China was 10 years ago, which made a case for governmental intervention for financial inclusivity and, perhaps, surveillance. In Singapore, why should the Government try to dictate the growth of payments?

There are benefits to pluralism. The case is similar in the United States, where the majority use PayPal and credit cards.

Is the US behind China in payments? No, merchants and banks in the US implement different payments based on business choices.