(March 23): The Bank for International Settlements will work with central banks in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to connect their national payment systems to a cross-border payment gateway.
The plan follows a successful linkage of the Eurosystem with Malaysia and Singapore via a prototype of Project Nexus, which enables instantaneous fund transfers between the countries via mobile phones, Bank Negara Malaysia and BIS Innovation Hub said in a joint statement Thursday (March 23).
The BIS and the monetary authorities of Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia will work toward forging a wider payments connectivity as the network is scaled up across more countries in the next phase, according to the statement.
Central banks are embracing mobile-payment systems to make money transfers faster and cheaper. India and Singapore in February linked their systems, allowing residents to move money via cellphones almost instantaneously. Singapore rolled out a similar link with Thailand in 2021, and has said it’s working with Malaysia for such project.
Nexus is built to accommodate differences between national payment systems rather than trying to homogenise them. In the next phase, BNM, Bank Indonesia, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of Thailand will leverage experiences from earlier phases of the project to enable transfers across a combined population of about 500 million people, according to the statement.