THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced on Monday that it has signed a strengthened “FinTech Cooperation Agreement” with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to facilitate cross-border payment links between the two countries.

In a joint statement, central banks said the deal will make it easier to link the two countries’ real-time and QR payment systems, to facilitate instant, transparent and low-cost cross-border payments.

The enhanced CA builds on the earlier 2017 agreement to expand the scope of the FinTech collaboration and partnership between BSP and MAS.

“The BSP is taking the first step in connecting the Philippine payment system with those of our country of Asean. [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] neighbors, starting with Singapore, ”said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno. “Effectively link our QR [Quick Response] and real-time payment systems will improve the security and efficiency of cross-border payments through a smoother and smoother international transfer of funds, thereby promoting the financial well-being of Filipinos who regularly use cross-border payment services.

Diokno said overseas Filipinos, export, import and tourism companies and companies with subsidiaries or investors overseas would benefit from the deal.

Remittances between the Philippines and Singapore totaled $ 2.15 billion in 2020. The BSP said there was an annual average before the pandemic of around 900,000 travelers between the two countries.

“This improvement [cooperation agreement] will further strengthen our ties with Singapore and bring us closer to an integrated and interoperable cross-border payment system in the Asean region, ”said Diokno.

The central bank said the collaboration in payment infrastructure projects aligns with the G-20’s efforts to resolve existing frictions in global cross-border payments. The two central banks also said they would explore the multilateral interoperability of these projects, in line with regional efforts to forge new links within ASEAN and with countries outside the region.

“Improvements to the MAS-BSP FinTech Cooperation Agreement will help accelerate payments connectivity between Singapore and the Philippines,” MAS Managing Director Ambat Ravi S. Menon said in the statement. “Critically, linking our QR and real-time payment systems is also a concrete step towards the vision of an Asean network of interconnected real-time payment systems. “

Image courtesy of (c) Mdvedwards |

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