February 29, 2024

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Singapore Joins Regional Payment Connectivity Collaboration

To support more efficient, affordable, open, and inclusive cross-border payments, Bank Indonesia (BI), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Bank of Thailand (BOT) have decided to improve and heighten their cooperation on payment connectivity.

During the recently held G20 Leaders’ Summit, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Regional Payment Connectivity (RPC) was signed. The event emphasised the value of concrete joint collaborative action in addressing global challenges. The Governors of the five central banks were acknowledged for their dedication to making ground-breaking discoveries that will hasten regional payment connectivity.

The RPC is anticipated to play a significant role in promoting inclusive growth and speeding up the regional economy’s recovery. By implementing cross-border payment connectivity, the region’s financial ecosystem will become more inclusive and support cross-border trade, investment, financial deepening, remittance, tourism, and other economic activities.

The ability to participate in global markets is especially advantageous for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. Several modalities, including QR codes and fast payments, will be used in the collaboration.

With the G20’s establishment of its Roadmap for Enhancing Cross Border Payments, accelerating economic and financial digitalisation has become a global initiative. The initiative is also consistent with Indonesia’s G20 Presidency priority agenda in digital transformation, including through payment systems in the digital era, as demonstrated by the coordinated efforts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to pursue enhanced cross-border payment connectivity.

This payment connectivity initiative may be expanded in the future to include additional regional nations as well as potential partner nations outside the region. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chairmanship of Indonesia will begin with this milestone in 2023.

This partnership also advances ASEAN’s common goal of establishing interconnected payment systems that will make cross-border payments quick, easy, and more reasonably priced. This initiative lays the groundwork for expanded ASEAN participation soon, strengthening interregional economic ties in line with ASEAN’s pragmatic approach to deepen integration through mutually beneficial arrangements based on readiness.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the recently concluded 7th Singapore International Cyber Week, the United States and Singapore held the inaugural United States-Singapore Cyber Dialogue (USSCD).

Representatives from a variety of agencies from both countries attended the dialogue, which was co-chaired by the chief executive of Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA), David Koh, and Nate Fick, ambassador at large for cyberspace and digital policy for the United States.

Officials discussed supply chain security, regional cyber capacity building, cyber talent and workforce development, developments in multilateral and regional fora, information sharing, protection of critical information infrastructure, countering ransomware, and fighting digital scams during the dialogue.

The next USSCD will take place in Washington, DC, and a working group on the intersection of technology and cyber will be established between the CSA and the US Office of the National Cyber Director.

The USSCD will act as a forum to regularly discuss practical cooperation between officials from both countries’ operational and technical government agencies, as well as cyber policy officials.

As cybersecurity has emerged as a critical tool for both nations to take advantage of the advantages of digitalisation to grow their economies and improve the lives of their citizens, Singapore and the United States have a strong shared interest in enhancing their cyber and digital security cooperation.


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