SINGAPORE startup Liquid Group has expanded its cross-border QR (Quick Response) payment acceptance partnerships to include financial institutions in seven new markets in Asia.
They are South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia – on top of its existing markets of Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia. The 10 markets have a combined merchant base of six million across the region, Liquid Group said on Thursday.
By adopting a common interoperability framework, the acquirers – banks and non-bank financial institutions that sign up or on-board the merchants – will be able to extend their accepted payment modes to multiple QR payment apps from overseas issuers.
It will also give participating QR payment apps access to a bigger pool of international merchants.
Travellers will be able to use their preferred domestic mobile payment e-wallets to make cross-border QR payments for their overseas purchases securely in real-time. They can also get cost savings on their purchases via lower account charges or rewards and offers from the issuers where applicable, Liquid Group noted.
For merchants, it simplifies cashier workflows as well as standardises settlement and dispute management when accepting participating overseas QR payment apps.
Interoperability trials with six markets will commence in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by the remaining markets next year. The startup will identify and announce these markets together with the respective banks and regulators during the trial period, Jeremy Tan, chief executive of Liquid Group told The Business Times on Thursday.
The cross-border transactions will first work on bilateral payment corridors during the trials, but will "quickly" move to become multilateral within the regional network, seeing as the foundation for the technology is the same, he added.
Moving forward, it will take about 24 to 36 months from Thursday for the partner acquirers to enable the majority of their merchant base for cross-border QR acceptance, Mr Tan said.
Earlier this year, Liquid Group launched its integrated payments and marketing infrastructure at Singapore's Changi Airport. Separately, it also entered into two strategic partnerships with Hong Kong's JETCO and Indonesia's CIMB Niaga to open up bilateral corridors for QR payments across Singapore-Hong Kong and Singapore-Indonesia respectively.