As Southeast Asia moves into a new era of digital transformation, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), led by Chairperson Arsjad Rasjid, is aiming for a groundbreaking initiative. In a significant step towards regional financial integration, the council plans to expand the QR code digital payment service beyond ASEAN to embrace Indo-Pacific nations.
Speaking at the 56th anniversary of ASEAN in Jakarta, Rasjid, who also chairs the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), outlined how QR code transactions have become a flagship project of ASEAN-BAC in the rapidly changing digital landscape.
“We see enormous potential in QR code transactions to enhance cross-border digital payments. This technology is a stepping stone to link payments, empowering micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) not just within ASEAN but across the Indo-Pacific,” Rasjid elaborated.
The recent 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, endorsed the council’s enthusiasm for regional payment connectivity. ASEAN leaders signed a declaration promoting local currency transactions within member countries and voiced their support for digital measures, including QR codes, to enable quicker, more affordable, and transparent cross-border payment systems.
“The benefits of local currency usage in bolstering financial resilience and stimulating intra-ASEAN trade and investment cannot be overstated. This initiative heralds a new era in regional economic growth and the burgeoning digital economy,” they noted in a joint statement.
In May 2023, Rasjid announced the targeted implementation of the QR code digital payment service in ASEAN countries by September of the same year. Already successfully in operation between Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore, the system offers a convenient, mobile application-based method for consumers to access products and services across the participating countries.
ASEAN-BAC’s vision goes beyond technological advancements. The council also emphasizes fostering greater business collaboration and people-to-people and business-to-business connectivity, aligning with the broader ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific region.
In moving forward, the collaboration and integration of QR code payments represent a monumental stride in ASEAN’s journey towards an interconnected, resilient, and progressive community, further solidifying its role in the global economy.
(Source: Antara News)