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Japan, Asean to Integrate QR Code Payments by 2025, Says Japan's Economy Ministry

Starting in 2025, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will unify QR code payments, reported Vietnam News Agency (VNA) quoting Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti).

This move aims to simplify spending between these countries, eliminating the hassle of exchanging currency, especially for tourists, said the Meti representative noting, ongoing discussions with governments and central banks of various countries, including those in Southeast Asia.

The Cashless Promotion Council is speeding up the process of establishing a payment system that connects domestic and international services, expected to be finished by 2024.

Currently, QR code payment services are offered by various businesses in Japan, like Paypay and Rakuten Pay. However, users can only pay online for registered services.

The new system aims to address this limitation, enabling consumers to pay for any service as usual.

In 2022, five Asean countries — Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines — signed a Memorandum of Understanding on payment integration and initiated cooperation in various fields.

Japan plans to engage in negotiations with Asean nations to implement this service between Japan and Asean soon.

According to Meti's latest data, non-cash payments in Japan amounted to about 111 trillion Japanese yen (approximately US$750 billion) in 2022, with QR codes and other codes accounting for only 2.6%.

In contrast, digital payments in six major Southeast Asian countries reached US$858 billion in 2022, with digital payments, including QR codes, constituting 28% of total payments in Indonesia and 23% in Thailand, according to a survey by Fidelity National Information Services, a US financial services company.

Source: Bernama

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